U.S. solar shares plunged after President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion signature economic and clean energy plan suffered a crucial blow.
Sunrun Inc., the biggest U.S. residential solar installer, fell as much as 12% Monday before paring some of the losses. First Solar Inc., the country’s top panel producer, dropped as much as 8.3% and SunPower Corp. slipped as much as 9.8%. The moves mirror declines for solar suppliers traded in China on Monday.
The slump comes after Senator Joe Manchin surprised the White House and fellow Democrats Sunday by announcing his opposition to the Build Back Better Act, which would have included a record $550 billion for climate measures, including key tax credits for renewables. Manchin’s opposition is a serious setback for Biden’s ambitious efforts to boost clean energy in the U.S.
“The bottom line is that clean tech companies in the U.S. market cannot count on a decade-long extension of the wind and solar tax credits, a more generous electric vehicle tax credit, or new tax credits for low-carbon fuels and green hydrogen,” Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James, said in a research note Monday. “Whether any of these provisions will end up being revived in some form remains to be seen.”
The bill would have expanded tax credits for renewable power, biofuels, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. The bill also included an increase in tax credits for power plants and other facilities that employ carbon-capture technologies, plus new tax credits for energy storage, transmission projects and hydrogen production.
“This is our last, best chance to tackle the climate crisis,” Lori Lodes, executive director of clean energy lobbyist Climate Power, said in an email. “Our country, our economy and future generations cannot afford Congress to kick the can down the road any longer.”