Solar tariff not a show stopper

Credit Courtesy Mission Solar

Credit Courtesy Mission Solar

The trade law provision under which the Trump administration acted in imposing solar panel tariffs requires the president to make the final call. Solar has been far cheaper than fossil fuels in recent years. The price of solar panels is typically 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of a solar system installed by an experienced solar contractor, so the tariff will increase price of turnkey solar system by just 5 percent and perhaps even less for industrial scale solar farms.

Arguing that fewer than 2,000 of the 260,000 solar energy jobs reported in the 2016 were related to the manufacturing of solar energy panels, the Massachusetts Democrat cautioned that the new tariffs will raise costs and could and result in the loss of 23,000 industry jobs in 2018 alone. The tariff, recommended by the bipartisan U.S. International Trade Commission, is created to help these companies compete for the domestic solar market.

"In this case, it really did not start with him", Gore reportedly said. So the company wants is premium-priced panels to receive an exemption from the tariffs. The president says the move is to protect American jobs, but critics say the opposite will happen. "We pay a higher tariff despite the fact that it's an American technology".

Markey added that he plans to fight back against the Trump administration's tariff and ensure the solar industry has the support needed to continue creating jobs in MA and across the country. The other 36,000 workers built mounting systems, inverters, tracking systems, and other auxiliary hardware.

The tariff goes into effect on February 7; however, the US trade representative will not announce the rules for requesting an exclusion until February 22. The bigger questions for me are around SunPower's willingness to build some manufacturing here to avoid tariffs, and whether worldwide markets can pick up the slack. According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight from Q4 2017, strong demand for solar panels caused prices to rise $0.07 to $0.45 in Q3 2017. There's a good chance it has a crippling effect, reducing our ability to modernize our electrical infrastructure and combat climate change.

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