For years, millions of concerned citizens have been working hard to promote a clean environment. Until now, climate change and pollution were our biggest concerns. However, now we are faced with uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, thousands of Americans who work in the clean energy field have lost their jobs, while thousands of others are at risk of losing theirs as well. Nearly 80% of solar companies have delayed or cancelled solar projects, according to a current SEIA survey which noted that business has reduced worldwide as well due to the global pandemic.

Worldwide reports are indicating that the Coronavirus outbreak has drastically reduced solar deployment forecasts for at least the next few years. COVID-19 impacts have reduced the forecast for Bloomberg New Energy Finance by as much as 28%. A study by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables indicates that the market has fallen by 18% already this year. 

A marked reduction in solar energy deployment would cause a setback in the battle against climate change. As reported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for years the highest donor of greenhouse gases in the U.S. has been the electric power sector, with a contribution of 27% of total emissions.

With installed solar capacity of 77 gigawatts in the U.S. alone, solar energy plays a crucial role in reducing emissions from the power section. This equates to approximately enough power for over 14.5 million homes as well as an offset of carbon dioxide emissions of greater than 88 million metric tons per year. 

This decade has been coined the Solar+ Decade, supporting the idea that clean energy, renewed infrastructure, storage and, most importantly, solar energy, are creating jobs, boosting the economy in the effort to create a healthier and clean environment. This coincides with Denis Hayes, the creator of Earth Day’s, vision of a Green Earth.

Congress needs to act quickly to halt the catastrophic fallout of COVID-19 in order to foster the growth and recovery of the solar industry as well as maintaining the key components of Earth Day.

The Solar ITC (Investment Tax Credit) is a crucial clean energy policy that allows solar companies to completely employ the direct payments received from the ITC to help businesses remain unsettled while keeping their employees on their payroll in these trying times. The expansion of economical solutions from prior recovery bills and the development of new incentives for U.S. manufacturing, as well as new online permitting programs can also help boost the U.S. solar industry.