The Blue Planet Foundation, a Hawaii nonprofit committed to ending the use of fossil fuels locally and worldwide through education and policy programs, has just released a monumental study that demonstrates exactly how hugely beneficial the Renewable Energy Tax Credit is to our local economy.
The study, an updated examination of the impact of tax credits on our local economy by economist Dr. Thomas Loudat, explains in detail how a single dollar invested in the Renewable Energy Tax Credit for a commercial installation becomes more than $60 in returns. The infographic below, taken from Blue Planet’s report, explains the split:
As you can see from the chart, most of the savings come from offsetting the delivery of fossil fuel oil to our islands, which is still responsible for more than 90% of our electricity and the reason that Hawaii pays more for its energy than any other state in the country. With these dollars saved by solar, they are put back into the local economy, stimulating growth and the job market.
The report also explains how solar’s economic benefit is a lasting and increasingly beneficial one:
- Because solar installations continue generating energy every year, the financial boost is felt for the lifetime of the system, years after the tax credit is first redeemed.
- The price of oil is on the rise and shows no signs of slowing. “If the price of oil rises to $200 per barrel,” explains the study, “the state’s rate of return will increase from 10.8% to 15.3%” and “the number of additional local jobs created over the 30-year life of an 118kW system will increase from 84 to 111.”
The report sums it up perfectly:
Solar tax credits are effective in stimulating private investment, drawing federal dollars into our local economy, and putting people to work. Dr. Loudat’s analysis clearly shows that Hawai’i’s renewable energy tax credit yields net fiscal gains, producing additional tax revenues and other benefits that are far greater than the initial expenditure by the state. It’s a smart investment in a better, cleaner tomorrow, a future we value beyond dollars and cents.