Why the Solar Energy Tariff May Be Bad for Solar

Make this factory a giga Mr. Trump

Penalizing other countries, though, often doesn't produce desired results.

But this is 2018, and things might look, and sound, a little different.

Because the USA now imports most of its panels, the import tax will probably hurt more American companies than it will help. Newsprint and office paper.

In my view, the biggest challenge for US solar companies - particularly installers - is uncertainty. The government imposed countervailing duties averaging 6.53 percent. White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Waters said the administration would announce its decision at an appropriate time.

Electronics giant LG says USA retailers will be increasing the price of washing machines from 20 percent to 50.

President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on cheap imported panels was meant to protect American manufacturing jobs, but many in the solar industry have argued that tariffs will raise costs and trigger thousands of layoffs in the installation end of the industry. A 30-percent tariff will likely increase the costs of solar installations, or roughly 10 percent, which could reduce the amount of solar installed over the next 4 years by five to eight gigawatts of capacity, .

The 30 percent tariff was significantly lower than the 50 percent sought by US panel makers that brought the trade case. On jobs, the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) expects a reduction of 23,000 - a loss of approximately 9 percent of the American 260,000 solar jobs. "Only two producers of both solar cells and modules, and eight firms that produced modules using imported cells, remained viable".

Next up, meat imports were the second most-valuable agricultural trade between the US and China in 2017, worth about $1.3 billion.

So the idea of protecting the solar industry from overseas rivals with unfair advantages isn't new. Installers of solar-energy systems like the lower prices for panels because it makes the financial calculations for consumers and businesses more attractive, thus driving business.




In the solar market, Suniva and SolarWorld sought a shield. Here's how First Solar can lock in its advantage for years to come.

But doing so will be a tricky proposition because any dealing with China involves so many economic and geopolitical elements. That would sting farmers in the US, which sold $13.9 billion worth of the commodity to the Asian nation in 2017. Can China be persuaded to rein in North Korea or play nice with other Asian countries? When American producers asked the Commerce Department in 2013 to deal with this dodge, Chinese companies moved production again.

What really makes this move practically hypocritical is that it goes against what the Republican party, with Trump as its leader, have been espousing with regards to lowering corporate taxes.

According to the statement, Trump approved applying safeguards for imports of solar cells and modules over a four-year period.

The tariff will create a number of less-obvious losers as well.

Some rare good news this week revealed Connecticut's economy expanded 3.9 percent between July and September, eighth fastest among the states, with manufacturing a leader.

"We've seen very substantial bipartisan support for renewable energy", said Sunrun's Fenster.

North Carolina has seen more of that investment than nearly every other state - more than $7 billion worth through 2016, according to a 2017 report by RTI International.

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