March 24, 2018

Sungevity Announces Response to Trump Administration's Solar Tariffs

27 January 2018, 10:02 | Christie Tate

President Trump Approves Relief for U.S. Washing Machine and Solar Cell Manufacturers | United States Trade

US to enforce trade actions to cut trade imbalances

It's hard to tell why he's doing this.

Tom Matzzie is CEO CleanChoice Energy, which sources renewable electricity from wind and solar farms.

But whatever the reason, the consequences probably won't be severe.

However, SMA Solar, the world's largest maker of solar inverters, said it expected the impact to be small, forecasting industry growth in the Americas region would average about 18 percent per year until 2020, more than the 10 per cent expected globally. 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.

"U.S. trade and investment with China supports roughly 2.6 million American jobs, across many industries", it said, adding that China's enormous size and future growth will fuel "more market opportunities for US businesses". The president has 90 days to respond to any threats by imposing tariffs and quotas or entering into talks with foreign producers to find a solution. The tariff will last through 2021 and will fall by 5 percent each year, dropping to a 15 percent tariff three years from now. It is the rest of the solar manufacturing supply chain that will be hurt the most.

"Our feeling here at Cromwell is that it's going to keep things where they were, as of the day before this".

Because of a flood of imports and a sharp decline in prices, "The U.S. solar industry had nearly disappeared, with 25 companies closing since 2012", the trade representative's office said.

The tariff will create a number of less-obvious losers as well. "This was a trade action brought by private companies". U.S. workers earn much higher salaries than workers in China and other developing countries, meaning that USA manufacturers can't rely on cheap labor costs for their competitive advantage.

In other words, rather than erecting trade walls and retreating from global competition, America should better position itself to win in that environment.

Horne Brothers Construction, based in Fayetteville, bills itself as one of the "top-rated solar mechanical installers in the United States".

Cavaliers' Heated Team Meeting Ends With Players Blaming Kevin Love
Or it's just another sign that the disarray in the Cavaliers locker room is a huge problem, and that the Cavs are in trouble. The Cavaliers have lost five of the last six games and the team now ranks 29th in the defensive ratings.

Lee Solar LLC, under the auspices of Silicon Ranch of Nashville, will own and operate the facility under a 20-year contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

"We are really fortunate here in Washington that we have an incentive that (the government) will pay 50 percent of the solar system", Wilke said.

It's no surprise that much of the domestic solar industry opposed the protectionist measures.

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, in a letter to the International Trade Commission, wrote: "The solar industry is now booming across the nation".

Coal's share of the electric grid plummeted to 30% previous year, from more than half in 2001, according to the EIA.

True South Solar President Eric Hansen says, "Even a tariff of 30 percent isn't going to stop our industry". Will China be allowed to buy American companies, especially those with national-security implications? The Economy Department pledged to use legal resources to fight the trade barriers placed on Mexican solar panels and washing machines. The cost of solar electricity is poised to crater by 66% by 2040, according to a forecast previous year by the research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

At this point, the march of technology looks to be more important than the vagaries of government policy.

Duke Energy, a key driver behind much of the solar energy development in North Carolina, also said it will re-evaluate plans for further investment.

History bears this out.

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