President Trump’s Tariffs Deal Crippling Blow to Solar Industry: Info from Solar Contractors in Albuquerque, NMApril 19, 2018 7:12 pm
In what was considered by experts to be a crippling blow to the renewable energy industry, President Donald Trump implemented an ill-advised tariff on imported solar panels in January. Now an industry that has been left reeling by the decision is attempting to figure out where its future is in the United States.
Under the decision, the United States will impose tariffs of up to 30 percent on any solar equipment made internationally and brought to the United States. The decision could significantly handicap what has been a $28 billion industry that generally uses parts made abroad for 80 percent of its equipment.
Even before the tariffs were actually implemented, the threat of them being handed down caused a stir among solar developers. Many tried to bring in as many panels as they could before the tariffs were made official, just to be able to build up a supply and avoid the outrageous extra costs.
The effect of the tariffs will be catastrophic on employment. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates there will be tens of thousands of jobs lost in a field that employed roughly 260,000 people before the tariffs were implemented.
A war on renewable energy
The tariffs on solar panels are just the latest in a series of actions taken by President Trump to undermine all progress being made in the field of renewable energy.
Already the administration has made headlines for being one of only a couple countries to pull out of the international Paris climate agreement, and the only country that can be considered a “world power” to do so. The Trump administration also significantly rolled back regulations on power plant emissions, passed significant tax reforms that will make it harder to get financing for solar and wind initiatives and essentially dismantled the Environmental Protection Agency while naming a chairperson for the agency who is a climate change skeptic.
With these tariffs, may projects may need to be abandoned, and rooftop solar companies might need to pull out of some states entirely as the cost of doing work becomes too high for these companies to continue working at the pace they have been.
The tariffs will start at 30 percent in the first year and gradually drop to 15 percent over four years. Many critics of the move believe it to be the first move in instituting a trade war against China, where most solar panels are manufactured.
The tariffs helped U.S. panel maker First Solar Inc., as its stocks jumped by 9 percent after the tariffs were announced. This makes sense, as international competition is now going to be brought down significantly.
But industry-wide, this is a devastating move for solar energy. In a world where renewable energy resources are needed more than ever, this will hamper the country’s ability to move forward into a renewable future.
For more information about how this decision could affect solar power across the nation, please reach out to the expert solar contractors in Albuquerque, NM at Experienced Solar.
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