Blue Planet study: Solar tax incentives benefit Hawaii

January 16th, 2013
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One residential PV system in Hawaii (sized at 5.27KW) yields 3.2 new local jobs, $106,000 in local labor income and more than $20,000 in additional tax revenues, according to the Blue Planet Foundation's full analysis of solar tax credits and their impact on the local economy. Photo courtesy Blue Planet Foundation.

One residential PV system in Hawaii (sized at 5.27KW) yields 3.2 new local jobs, $106,000 in local labor income and more than $20,000 in additional tax revenues, according to the Blue Planet Foundation's full analysis of solar tax credits and their impact on the local economy. Photo courtesy Blue Planet Foundation.

The Blue Planet Foundation yesterday released a full report detailing the economic impacts of Hawaii's renewable energy tax credit showing that the existing incentive yields a "clear, significant net fiscal benefit to the state."

The analysis, which Blue Planet commissioned from former University of Hawaii economist Thomas Loudat, found that every commercial photovoltaic (PV) tax credit dollar invested yields $7.15 that stays in Hawaii and $55.03 in additional sales, which generates $2.67 in new tax revenue.

Every residential solar PV tax credit dollar yields $1.97 in additional tax revenues, with $5.71 that stays in Hawaii and $34.69 in additional local sales. For a typical 118-KW commercial PV installation, the state gains about 2.7 local jobs each year over the 30-year lifetimes of the system.

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"Solar energy is currently a bright spot in Hawaii's progress toward energy independence," said Blue Planet director Jeff Mikulina. "Our analysis shows that solar is also a bright spot in Hawaii's economy and our state budget."

Besides reducing our dependence on oil, Mikulina said the solar industry in Hawaii is creating thousands of local jobs and funneling hundreds of millions of tax dollars into the state budget.

Solar accounts for 15 percent of all construction expenditures in Hawaii, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). Solar installations also bring federal dollars into the local economy in the form of a 30-percent federal renewable energy tax credit, says Blue Planet, with a multiplier effect equivalent to tourist dollars coming to Hawaii.

Plus, solar is gaining good momentum. Blue Planet's analysis shows the use of solar increasing more rapidly in less wealthy neighborhoods.

Read the full study with supporting data at BluePlanetFoundation.org/SolarCredit.

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