Kelly Knutsen, who runs the 38 North Solutions office in Oakland, California, and provides staff services to CalSEIA, was quoted in this story about Bakersfield taking on the solar tax extension.
Read and listen to full story here.
Bakersfield First In Nation To Call For Solar Tax Credit Extension
By JEFFREY HESS
Bakersfield has become the first city in the nation to call for the extension of a federal solar panel tax credit.
The Bakersfield City Council voted 5-1 Wednesday night in favor of a resolution supporting extending the tax credit past its 2016 expiration date. The credit is officially called the Solar Investment Tax Credit and was established in 2005 to help jump start the solar panel industry.
City Council member Willie Rivera says the solar sector is still growing in Bakersfield, and ending the tax credit could take away an economic driver.
“It is an industry that has grown substantially and I think it is going to continue growing. It plays a key role in our economy now and I think it is going to play an even bigger role going forward,” Rivera said.
“Solar is a big opportunity both roof tops and out in the farm field,” Kelly Knutsen
Currently, the tax credit offers a 30% rebate on home and business solar panel installation. After it sunsets, the credit would drop to 0% for homes and 10% for businesses.
Kelly Knutson with the California Solar Energy Industries Association says the credit is especially important in the Central Valley for agricultural purposes.
“Recently, farmers in the valley have been going solar as well because that really helps to meet their bottom line. Solar is a big opportunity both roof tops and out in the farm fields,” Knutsen said.
Knutsen says with the price of new solar installations falling, the tax credit is more important than ever.
In 2014 alone, California installed more solar power than the entire country did from 1970 through 2011.