Monday, October 18, 2021
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Bill gives Michigan an edge in leading solar power growth

In Michigan, we know a thing or two about innovation, entrepreneurship and building this country’s future. As the birthplace of the auto industry, Michigan will always be a leader in manufacturing and technological advancement.

Today, as we hasten the clean energy transition in the face of a growing climate crisis, Michiganders stand ready to lead.

This is especially true when it comes to leadership in the solar manufacturing supply chain.

Right now, solar is the fastest-growing source of electricity. In the first quarter of 2021, solar accounted for 58% of all new electricity generating capacity additions in the U.S., with Michigan ranking sixth in the nation in the number of solar installations.

By 2040, solar is poised to be the world’s top source of renewable energy. With this exponential growth and new investments in solar energy, American workers and manufacturers are well positioned to lead the way, especially in Michigan.

Mark Bassett, Ph.D., is the chairman and chief executive officer of Hemlock Semiconductor Operations.

Michigan is home to Hemlock Semiconductor, producer of polysilicon that is used to make the wafers that go into solar panels. Polysilicon is the foundational material for the solar industry. With a workforce of more than 1,000 strong, Hemlock’s workers represent the bedrock on which the U.S. will build out a thriving solar supply chain here at home.

As an important first step, Sen. Stabenow recently helped introduce the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act. The proposed legislation creates a long-term incentive that would spur an explosion in new investment throughout the solar supply chain. Importantly, the proposal fosters globally competitive, efficient production so we are no longer reliant on foreign imports to meet the growing demand for solar power. By incentivizing manufacturers directly at every step of the value chain, it ensures that a domestic solar supply chain is cost-competitive with foreign suppliers.

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