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Solar energy keeps vital tax credit support

BELLINGHAM, WA, USA - 6 October 2008 - Tax credits due to expire at the end of this year for solar and other alternative energy R&D were extended with passage of an economic rescue bill passed by Congress last week. Passage of the tax credits will help the growing solar industry to address the world's energy crisis as well as to create new jobs, said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs.

"While questions may remain about the ultimate impacts of the bill, there is no question that continued tax credits for solar and other alternative energy projects will provide crucial support for these new and promising industries," Arthurs said. "Development of more renewable energy sources is vitally needed throughout the world in order to decrease dependency on fossil fuels."

Measures for energy and numerous other tax credits targeted to boost various sectors of the economy were added to the final versions of the economic stabilization bill. The package was passed by the Senate on 1 October and passed by the House and signed into law by the President on 3 October, culminating two weeks of debate.

Expiring investment tax credits for residential and commercial solar projects were extended for eight more years, and production tax credits for wind projects were extended through 2009.

Other aspects of the energy tax package include new incentives for plug-in hybrid vehicles, credits to support carbon capture and storage, as well as refining oil shale and oil sands, and changes to biodiesel provisions.