The solar industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 5 years. Since 2012, employment in the United States solar industry has doubled to 242,000. Businesses and individual investors are beginning to realize that solar energy is not only good for the environment, it is a solid investment that can be an important part of the economy. The Rusty Tweed Solar Project is showing businesses and nonprofits the way by installing solar energy systems and helping small organizations reap the benefits.
Solar is an attractive business prospect in today’s economy. The costs of solar energy have dropped by 70 percent in the last ten years, and the industry is expanding accordingly. Residential solar systems now cost about $18,000, down from $40,000 in 2010.
Helping Non-Profits Thrive
Rusty Tweed began his solar project at the Kukui Center, a Honolulu non-profit that takes care of the needs of vulnerable children and families. The Center includes services for children as well as an overnight homeless shelter. Children receive educational services and parents are able to take advantage of support systems to help them navigate the challenges of life.
One of the most attractive incentives for solar development is the Solar Investment Tax Credit. Since the credit was put into force in 2006, the United States solar industry has ballooned by over 8,600 percent. Solar has supported the creation of hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs and made an outsized impact on the economy.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit provides a 30 percent tax credit for residential and commercial properties. This is an extremely attractive prospect for owners of businesses of all sizes. When businesses are able to write off 30 percent of their investment in solar energy, they can put their profits back into their businesses, enabling growth.
Unfortunately, the Solar Investment Tax Credit is set to diminish over the next few years. 2019 is the last year when the full provisions of the credit will be in force. Legislation has been proposed which would extend the provisions of the Solar Investment Tax Credit and continue to offer this outstanding benefit to all commercial and residential taxpayers in the United States.
Benefits of Solar for Businesses
When businesses are considering installing solar energy systems, there are many factors to take into consideration. Solar power is a cost-effective and sustainable energy source for businesses of all sizes. Large companies like IKEA, Target, Apple, and Intel have taken advantage of the benefits of solar. Smaller companies are slower to adopt the technology, but with the Solar Investment Tax Credit, it makes sense for these companies to make investments in the area.
The first and most cost-effective benefit is the free solar electricity. Businesses tend to pay off their installation costs in the first three to six years after installing the systems, so after that, the business receives free energy and often actually makes a profit. Solar systems can last up to 25 years with very little maintenance required.
The next important benefit is the environmental cause. Many people feel strongly that we as a nation need to break our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity. Solar power helps environmentally conscious businesses support the health of the planet. Businesses which have been certified as environmentally friendly reap the benefits of their forward thinking.
Solar and the Economy
Solar is a sustainable form of energy for the United States economy. Through a combination of dropping installation costs, tax credits, and free energy, solar makes sense for businesses of all sizes. Rusty Tweed encourages businesses in all sectors to look carefully at the benefits of solar energy.