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Posted: September 12, 2008
Congress Urged to Extend Tax Credits for Solar Energy Research and Investments
(Nanowerk News) SEMI urges Congress to immediately reinstate the R&D tax credit and to pass a long-term extension of the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy. The R&D tax credit expired on December 31, 2007 and the solar energy ITC is set to expire at the end of the year.
These and other tax issues were the focus of a hearing held by the Small Business Committee of the House of Representatives on September 11. Leo Berlinghieri, CEO and president of MKS Instruments, testified on behalf of SEMI in support of immediate extension of these credits.
"The R&D tax credit has a long history of strong bi-partisan, bi-cameral support, and it is unfortunate that is was allowed to expire eight months ago," Mr. Berlinghieri said. He noted that "the credit provides a critical, effective and proven incentive for companies to increase their R&D investment in the United States." Mr. Berlinghieri also discussed solar energy and shared data from a Navigant Consulting study in noting that, "if extended, the solar energy ITC is expected to create almost 40,000 more jobs and $8 billion in investments in 2009. If it is not extended, those jobs and investments will go elsewhere."
SEMI represents nearly 800 member companies in the United States. These companies face steep costs due to the intricate challenges of developing new generations of microelectronics. They spend heavily on R&D. On average, companies reinvest about 10-15 percent of revenues in R&D for advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes and technology.
Many SEMI members are involved in the photovoltaic industry. Because of concerns about a possible lapse of the solar ITC, SEMI sent a letter to the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives urging that this credit be extended before adjournment which is scheduled for late September. "Other nations have very generous incentives for solar energy and are leading in investment in this area," noted Victoria Hadfield, President of SEMI North America. She continued, "Now is the time to extend the ITC for solar energy. Failure to do so will ensure that these investments are made overseas."
SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. SEMI member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.semi.org.