Washington solar company 'devastated' over Trump tariff
Jan 27 2018 by Lorena Waters
"Specifics of what it means [for Illinois], we're not sure yet", she said. Meanwhile, 20,000 jobs are at risk in a growing industry that thrives on cheap imports.
It's not what you'd expect to hear after President Trump announced a 30% tariff on imported solar panels.
"The decision effectively will cause the loss of roughly 23,000 American jobs this year, including many in manufacturing, and it will result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments", SEIA added.
Narendra Modi is to deliver the first keynote speech of the WEF in Davos, bookending a week that will climax in an address by US President Donald Trump, a year after he took office on a populist platform that demonised the globalist Davos crowd. Higher prices for solar cells will reduce demand, leading to job losses among solar panel installers and others in the broader renewable energy industry - which employs far more people than the US manufacturers of solar cells do.
But McCain said IL is "uniquely positioned" to continue growing its solar market, which got a boost in 2016 with the passage of the state's landmark Future Energy Jobs Act.
For small microgrids, the tariff has no effect, but for larger ones - 1 MW or more - projects have been delayed due to uncertainty surrounding the distributed energy component, Chiesa said. Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturers have moved "light years" ahead of their USA counterparts, according Varun Sivaram, an expert on solar power at the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations, enjoying massive scale, extremely low costs and optimized supply chains. The exemption for parts starts at 50,000 units and increases to 90,000 over three years. This quote above is via an email from Saule, the manufacturer referenced in the article linked to the news we covered recently.
"In the solar case, the Chinese have strategically attacked this industry, taken the whole thing away in less than a decade ..." "We got a letter from manufactures kind of stating that". That may help steel manufacturers, but critics point out it will raise costs for other manufacturers that use steel in their products - including washing machines.
"Because the increased costs will make it so a lot of bigger projects won't move forward", Beck said. LG Electronics USA noted Tuesday that its new plant to make washers in Clarksville, Tennessee, will be "the most advanced factory in the world" but warned that the tariff "hinders the ramp-up of the new plant and threatens many new U.S.jobs".
Trump this week said he doesn't want a trade war with China, although he blamed the country during his presidential campaign for stealing American jobs and destroying the manufacturing industry.
The fact is that the U.S.is largely out of the solar panel-producing business, and whatever the reasons for that absence, this policy won't change it. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Solar Foundation's 2016 Solar Jobs Census, 9,000 solar companies employed over 260,000 American workers. The 30 percent tariff, which declines by 5 percent per year over four years, offers an exemption for the first 2.5 GW of imports.
That is why the vast majority of the USA solar industry opposed the tariffs, saying in effect they are a cheap shot to appease Trump's populist support that will backfire and harm the broader solar industry in the US.
California has of all USA solar electricity generating capacity, followed by Arizona, New Jersey and North Carolina. By contrast, installation made up 53% of the total.