Analysis warns: New tariffs could stall America’s solar progress.

By Oliver Townsend Jul 10, 2024
New Tariffs Could Undermine America's Solar Progress, Says Analysis.webpOrginal image from:

Recent analysis suggests that new tariffs resulting from antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations on solar cells and modules imported from Southeast Asia could potentially hinder the progress of America’s solar industry. The imposition of these tariffs may lead to increased costs, limiting solar supply and installations in the U.S. This analysis, conducted by Clean Energy Associates and commissioned by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), highlights the potential impacts of tariffs on the solar sector.

The Impact of Potential Tariffs

The analysis reveals that the U.S. solar industry is currently thriving, but the introduction of AD/CVD duties on solar cells and panels from Southeast Asia could raise costs significantly. Domestic module costs could increase by $0.10 per watt, while imported module costs could rise by $0.15 per watt. To achieve the government’s target of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the solar industry must expand from 177 GW to over 500 GW of installed capacity.

The Concerns Raised

ACORE President and CEO, Ray Long, emphasizes that solar energy is a cost-effective and reliable source of power for the economy. Injecting uncertainty into the market through tariffs could slow economic growth, hinder job creation in the clean energy sector, undermine U.S. climate goals, and potentially increase energy costs for American households. This course of action may inadvertently result in the loss of U.S. leadership in the global solar industry.

Strategies to Overcome Challenges

Despite the potential challenges posed by new tariffs, the solar industry can explore innovative strategies to mitigate their impact. Collaboration between industry stakeholders, advocacy for supportive policies, investment in research and development, and prioritizing domestic manufacturing are essential steps to ensure the continued growth and success of America’s solar sector.

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