Pablo Diaz, founder and CEO of Direct Solar America, joins Earth911 to talk about the current state of solar subsidies in the U.S. He was recently named one of CEO Magazine’s Top 20 Dynamic CEOs. Diaz founded the company as a solar installer but transitioned to providing solar technology and installation services for home and business owners. Visitors to DirectSolarAmerica.com can enter their address and share energy bills to receive a complete analysis of the potential cost, available subsidies, and a connection to a vetted local installer.
We discussed the current federal and state subsidies for solar installation around the country. The federal investment tax credit lets solar buyers write off up to 30% of their solar equipment and installation costs in 2019. That credit fell to 26% this year and will go down to 22% in 2021 before landing at 10% in 2022. Individual states offer generous subsidies that add to the federal savings.
Editor’s note, September 26, 2022: Since this podcast was recorded, the federal residential tax credit was reinstated for a decade at 30% of the cost of the solar system.
Considering that the U.S. provides approximately $650 billion a year in subsidies to the oil industry, Diaz thinks there is a high likelihood solar subsidies will continue for many years. However, Congress must vote to extend those subsidies or they will be sunsetted after 2022. That’s why this year’s state and national elections are so important to the future of U.S. solar growth. It took approximately 15 years for the first million solar installations to be completed, three years to reach 2 million, and the Solar Energy Industries Association expects to reach 4 million installations by 2023. But that represents only about 2% market penetration.
Diaz urges our listeners to vote for solar-supporting representatives and executive candidates. The nation needs to keep adopting solar to avoid 1.5-degrees Centigrade global warming by 2030 and remains far from that goal. Check out Direct Solar America to find out how your home can generate its own solar-powered electricity.