Representative Val Demings (D-FL) introduced the Reclaiming the Solar Supply Chain Act. It would provide $3.5 billion for U.S. solar manufacturing.
If passed, $700 million would be invested annually from 2022 through 2026. The legislation would provide funding for the construction of new manufacturing facilities and to retrofit, retool, and expand existing facilities. Priority would be given to manufacturers that provide the greatest potential for domestic job creation and economic development in economically distressed regions.
The bill was cosponsored by Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Debbie Dingell and Elissa Slotkin, both Michigan Democrats. The representatives said the bill would create domestic jobs and address human rights issues in the global supply chain.
With the Biden administration placing a ban on several companies suspected of forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China, the call for more domestic manufacturing has grown louder.
The proposed act won support from groups like the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance (ULCSA). ULCSA director Michael Parr said too many solar panels and other components are made in global supply chains with high carbon emissions, and that supporting domestic manufacturing can leverage American innovation and low-carbon manufacturing processes.
Recent polling from Data for Progress has shown bipartisan support among Americans for domestic solar manufacturing. About two-thirds of likely voters in the U.S. strongly or somewhat support the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which would provide tax credits for PV manufacturers along all stages of the supply chain.