The U.S.' solar industry could lose up to half of its workforce as a direct result of COVID-19, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced on Monday.
SEIA said in a statement that 554 solar companies sent a letter to Congress underscoring the impact that COVID-19 is having on the solar industry.
'As the COVID-19 crisis reaches new heights, we are grateful that Congress is putting American families and their safety and wellbeing first. This is a public health crisis that is affecting Americans on a personal and an economic level,' the President and CEO of SEIA Abigail Ross Hopper was quoted as saying.
She noted that at the end of 2019, 250,000 workers in every state were reliant on the solar industry for their jobs.
'According to our survey, some sectors in the solar industry could see a 50% reduction or more, up from Bloomberg New Energy Finance's (BNEF) estimate of 16% to 30% just a week ago,' she said.
The letter sent by the solar companies is a plea to Congress to support these workers by including them in any legislative stimulus package, Hopper explained.
'As the stock market tanks, tax equity markets are drying up making it even harder for solar companies to utilize tools like the solar Investment Tax Credit,' she said.
Therefore, she suggested that in addition to paid sick leave and small business support, Congress could provide immediate relief to families by allowing the companies to utilize the support Congress has already provided to the solar industry and make the Investment Tax Credit either refundable or payable directly to businesses and customers.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu