“With a strong commitment to renewables and the announcement of additional funding U.S. Vice President Joe Biden wowed the audience at Solar Power International Wednesday morning.
“Thank you what you are doing for our country. Keep it going, we need you badly”. With this acknowledgment, Joe Biden bowed to the solar community. The speech of the U.S. Vice President attracted the attention of thousands at Solar Power International (SPI) in Anaheim tuesday morning. Crowds of people stood patiently in line and were thronging through stringent security controls until Biden started his speech with a one-hour delay. “We live by the power of our example”, Biden stressed. “This is the reason why the President wants to double the share of renewables until 2020”.
He called on patriotism as on global awareness to switch to a more sustainable energy policy and economy. “The market is already working, people want more solar”, Biden said. Politics should support that, not to obstruct. “We have to set the right framework”, the Vice President underlined and he referred to subsidies worth billions of Dollars with particular negative environmental impact. “It`s ridiculous that we still support the oil drilling in the U.S. with five billion Dollars tax money each year”, he emphasized. “If we just would take half of it for the extension of the Investment Tax Credit for solar, it would help a lot”, Biden said. Solar installations in the U.S. could triple within the next seven years if the ITC would be extended until 2022. “Let`s eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and spent tax money in a useful way”, the U.S. Vice President stressed. Global C02 emissions could be reduced by 10 percent through the phasing out of subsidies for the “old energies”.
However, Biden did not leave the stage in Anaheim without bringing additional money. He announced a $ 120 million competitive grant program to spur the solar energy development and use. The grants are intended to help spur specific aspects of the industry that the Obama administration would like to get more attention, including more access to solar energy in rural and low-income neighbourhoods and for more efforts to reduce the cost of solar energy. With standing ovations the audience at SPI rewarded Biden`s speech.
Source: Sun & Wind Energy, Hans-Christoph Neidlein