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Issue Position: Commitment to Solar Continues to be Important

Issue Position


You might have seen some of the latest news about how the Council on Revenues reported that state tax revenues were down a bit this past quarter. Surprisingly, the COR focused on the solar tax credit as being one of the main causes for the decrease in revenues. They claim that the state lost $70 million in revenue in 2011 because of the money invested in the solar tax credit. What the COR failed to mention is the importance that the solar industry now has in our economy. For example in 2011, solar accounted for 15% of the construction in the state. This is coupled with a recent study commissioned by Blue Planet Foundation and conducted by UH economist, Dr. Thomas Loudat, who found that for every solar tax credit dollar invested, $13.37 stays in Hawai"i and generates $44.70 in additional sales, which means $3.17 in new tax revenue. Solar remains a very important way for homes and businesses to reduce their electricity costs and our dependence on fossil fuels. Opponents of the solar tax credit fail to mention that nationally from 2002 to 2008 our federal government subsidized the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $72.47 billion a year compared to $5.61 billion in subsidies for the solar industry. How are we going to ever make any real progress if we keep our head in the sand and don't face the reality that "big oil" continues to have a strangle hold on us here in Hawai"i and across our nation?

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