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Kildee Leads New Effort to Support U.S. Solar Energy Jobs

Kildee Leads New Effort to Support U.S. Solar Energy Jobs

 


FLINT Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-08), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, today authored a letter with other members of Congress calling on the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue rules for new tax credits for solar energy that will support American manufacturing jobs and reduce the Americas' dependence on the People's Republic of China for solar components.

In 2022, Congressman Kildee helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act to support new U.S. manufacturing jobs and help lower costs for Michiganders. This new law included several of Kildee's priorities, including new tax credits to support the production and installation of solar panels in the United States.

These tax credits include a bonus credit, a domestic content bonus, for solar projects that use parts and materials made in America. The domestic content bonus was intended to support American manufacturing jobs, including in the production of Michigan-made polysilicon, a critical component of solar panels. However, the current interim rules would allow solar projects using Chinese-made polysilicon and wafers to qualify for the domestic content bonus, undermining the goal of offshoring more of the solar manufacturing process.

To ensure that the domestic content bonus creates U.S. manufacturing jobs and reduces our reliance on China, Congressman Kildees' letter calls on the U.S. Treasury Department to issue rules that close these gaps and support the entire US solar manufacturing supply chain.

In addition to Kildee, the letter was signed by Reps. Danny Davis (IL-07), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), John Garamendi (CA-08), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Frank Mrvan (IN-01) , Linda Schez (CA-38), Hillary Scholten (MI-03), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07) and Haley Stevens (MI-11).

Thank you to Congressman Kildee for making this important call for stronger domestic content bonus guidelines to protect U.S. solar jobs,” said Mike Carr, executive director of the Solar Energy Manufacturers for America Coalition. By taking steps to ensure that U.S. solar manufacturers, not those in China, benefit from this tax credit, the Biden administration can deliver a complete U.S. solar supply chain here at home.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Secretary Yellen:

We urge the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue revised guidance and promulgate regulations on the domestic content bonus for solar installations under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to better support U.S. solar manufacturing.

Through the IRA, significant domestic investments in solar panel manufacturing have been announced, but these new investments do not significantly reshor the solar supply chain. Since the Treasury released the Domestic Content Bonus forecast, the United States imported a record number of foreign-made solar panels in the third quarter of 2023, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. This is why we believe that the May 12, 2023 guidance does not correspond to the intentions of Congress and are requesting revisions.

We request that the guidance be updated to allow U.S. production of solar-grade polysilicon and wafers to count toward the domestic content bonus in order to bring significant investment into the United States from abroad. This is critical because China currently controls nearly 100% of global solar wafer production and nearly 80% of solar-grade polysilicon production. However, current guidelines allow solar-grade polysilicon and wafers from China or Chinese-controlled supply chains to count toward the domestic content bonus as components higher up in the supply chain. production. As a result, it fails to meaningfully address China's stranglehold on the solar value chain and will force the United States to remain dependent on China for critical solar components.

Congress intended the domestic content bonus to provide additional support for U.S. solar production and reduce our dependence on China. Current Treasury guidelines are the equivalent of claiming that an apple pie is American if the pie is baked in the United States, but the apples and all other ingredients come from China. Fears of over-reliance on China are not hyperbole. In recent months, China has imposed export controls on critical minerals and graphite, highlighting the need to diversify our supply chains, from start to finish.

Treasury must quickly implement this guidance to support U.S. manufacturing. Additionally, ratepayers and solar developers, particularly for residential solar projects, must have the necessary information to choose components eligible for the National Content Bonus at the time of purchase. This includes requiring that national content be calculated by technology in a project. This will provide the clarity needed to reduce uncertainty, prevent fraud, inform purchasing, and better support U.S. solar manufacturing.

In conclusion, future domestic content bonus updates must incentivize U.S. solar manufacturing throughout the supply chain by closing these Buy American gaps. This will provide domestic solar manufacturers with a much-needed signal that they can count on a strong market for their products. Thank you for your leadership and consideration.

Daniel T. Kildee

John Garamendi

Linda Sanchez

Hillary J. Scholten

Marcy Hood

Frank J. Mrvan

Danny K. Davis

Elissa Slotkin

Debbie Dingell

Haley M. Stevens

Sources

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2/ https://dankildee.house.gov/media/press-releases/kildee-leads-new-effort-support-us-solar-manufacturing-jobs

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