To tariff or not to tariff? Suniva filed a petition requesting tariffs and minimum prices for solar cells and solar modules. Others say implementing tariffs and minimum prices could have a significant negative impact on the growing industry. “SEIA has predicted that the Section 201 petition could cost 88,000 American solar manufacturing jobs and GameChange Solar has suggested that it could threaten most of the 374,000 total jobs in the solar industry.” It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and what the future of solar manufacturing will be on a global scale.
Here’s the problem with the “Buy American, Hire American” philosophy: American companies aren’t all on the same team, even when they work in complementary areas of the same industry. The current controversy regarding imports of Chinese solar cellsis a prime example. Suniva, a now-bankrupt manufacturer of solar cells and modules filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in April calling for new tariffs on solar cells and minimum prices on solar modules imported into the U.S. The Georgia-based company requested duties of $0.40/watt on imported cells and a floor price of $0.78/watt on modules. Ironically, Suniva is majority-owned by the Chinese company Shunfeng International Clean Energy. Read More