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Should solar manufacturers invest in the US?

If the US is expected to become one of the largest solar market, then shouldn’t we be investing in solar manufacturing instead of having the solar materials imported?

That is one of the ongoing debate being discussed at consulting and tax firm Deloitte.

Many solar players are said to be opting to invest their solar manufacturing plants in cheaper places such as China unless the government will give incentives for them to invest in the US. Another counterpoint is that current US incentives being given are still not as competitive as other countries.

Phil Schneider of Deloitte Consulting advised that if global solar companies want to get a foothold of the US market, now is the time to convince policymakers to give out greater incentives as US public policy will likely change dramatically this year and in 2010.

Mike Reno of Deloitte Tax LLP notes that solar manufacturers have plenty of tools to work in making the US their key production spot. Federal tax incentives is a crucial part but state incentives such as tax holidays, job creation grants and property tax relief will also make their vision a reality.

With global climate initiatives on the horizon as discussion in Copenhagen is set later this year, Rebecca Ranich, Deloitte Consulting director, said that solar companies would be smart to give special attention to shipping and transportation cost scenarios if carbon legislation moves forward.

Still, the bottomline is solar manufacturing will not be coming to the US if state and federal policymakers will not give enough incentives that will be advantageous to them.


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