June 8, 2022 - Douglas Myser

Tariffs taxes and solar panels. Could the tariffs on solar panels threaten Biden's climate change goals ? A Department of Commerce investigation as to whether China is circumventing tariffs on its solar energy products is slowing the expansion of solar power capacity in the U.S., according to industry and outside experts. "In the blink of an eye, we're going to lose 100,000 American solar workers and any hope of reaching the President's clean energy goals," Abigail Ross Harper stated. On March 25th, James Meador, the deputy assistant Secretary of Commerce for anti-dumping and countervailing duty operations, announced an investigation into whether crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam that use components from China violate tariffs on China solar panels. Pending the outcome of that investigation, tariffs could be applies--even retroactively, for recent purchases to solar panels from those four Asian countries. Tariffs taxes and solar panels.

Solar panel installers anxious not to run up what could potentially be a huge tax bill are therefore avoiding buying panels from those major suppliers and are often unable to fulfill orders. As a result, on April 27, after surveying its members on the effect the investigation is having, the SEIA cut by 46% its forecast for new solar installations in 2022 and 2023. A may 10th analysis by Rystand Energy, an independent energy research consulting company, found a potentially even more dramatic contraction in the solar industry, concluding that 64% of the 27 gigawatts of new solar capacity that was to be installed in this year is in jeopardy. Whether this problem is large enough at this point for the government to take notice and hold hearings has yet to be seen.

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