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Effect of Trump solar-panel import tariffs on clean-power growth debated

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:42 pm
by GRA
Via GCR: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/11 ... th-debated
A majority of the photovoltaic solar panels used in the U.S. are imported from such countries as China, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Now, environmentalists and energy analysts worry that the new 30-percent tariff on solar-panel imports announced last Monday by President Donald Trump may stymie the rapidly growing clean-energy industry.

The tariff would apply to imported panels above 2.5 gigawatts and would fall by 5 percent each year for four years. . . .

Observers worry the tariff could have a crippling impact on the solar power industry, which relies heavily on imported panels for its installations.

The industry has averaged annual growth of 68 percent for the last decade, according to an industry group, while a 2016 report estimated that the total cumulative capacity of installed U.S. solar panels was roughly 40 gigawatts. . . .

Re: Effect of Trump solar-panel import tariffs on clean-power growth debated

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:20 pm
by armmynissanleaf
May be this will help the US producers ramp up the production? This kind of protects the US producer right?

Re: Effect of Trump solar-panel import tariffs on clean-power growth debated

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:39 pm
by LTLFTcomposite
Too late for Solyndra

Re: Effect of Trump solar-panel import tariffs on clean-power growth debated

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:30 am
by goldbrick
I doubt there will be a surge in US manufacturing of solar panels due to this. The time and costs needed to build the manufacturing plants, train the operators, get distribution lines setup, etc, etc are too great a barrier to entry IMHO.

What this basically does is add a tax on solar panel installation. The generated tax money will go to the Federal government. I don't think it's lost on Trump his crew what they are doing. I doubt many Trump voters were planning to install panels so this is just a tax on folks who are on the 'other side' of the diverging society we live in.

I'm still planning on going through with my install but looking at the prices listed on-line, the cost of my DIY project just went up 10%. I can afford the price even now but in general, adding a tax on something usually results is less of it. Eg the sin taxes on cigarettes here in the US and alcohol in Europe generally reduce the consumption of the same. Maybe this is just another way Trump is trying to 'save coal' for his voter base.

Re: Effect of Trump solar-panel import tariffs on clean-power growth debated

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:35 am
by GetOffYourGas
GCR wrote:The photovoltaic panels themselves, according to some analyses, makes up only about one-third of the cost of an installation.

The rest is composed of such "soft costs" as frames for the panels, land for larger arrays, power inverters, wiring, and of course the cost of labor to do the installations.

That means that the tariff may add only 10 percent to the total cost of the installations—and whether that is enough to have a material effect on installation rates remains to be seen.
This is the real bottom line. I know that if my solar panels had cost me 10% more to install, I still would have gone through with the project. Some will choose not to. But a 10% bump in prices - in order to protect the waning American manufacturing jobs - is hardly going to kill the industry.

Re: Effect of Trump solar-panel import tariffs on clean-power growth debated

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:55 am
by RegGuheert
GetOffYourGas wrote:This is the real bottom line. I know that if my solar panels had cost me 10% more to install, I still would have gone through with the project. Some will choose not to. But a 10% bump in prices - in order to protect the waning American manufacturing jobs - is hardly going to kill the industry.
Not to mention that installing PV today costs about one-fourth to one-half of what you and I paid back at the beginning of the decade.

But the real question I have is whether this will spur U.S. PV manufacturing. Somehow, I doubt that it will.