Here’s How Trump’s Tariffs Will Hurt Solar Growth


In January, President Trump imposed a 30% import tariff on solar panels coming from overseas manufacturers to the US. Now, we get a look at how such regulations will hurt the growth of the solar industry.

GTM Research says that utility-scale solar will bear the brunt of the losses, accounting for 65% of the anticipated decline. And states will feel the brunt of the pain next year, since U.S. companies currently have at least 2 gigawatts of tariff-free modules reserved for 2018 projects.

President Trump, on the other hand, feels the tariffs will create jobs and revive a U.S. manufacturing sector that has been decimated by imports. According to the International Trade Commission, more than 95% of the solar panels in the United States are imported, with nearly half coming from just two countries: Malaysia and South Korea.

However, just last week, SunPower, a California-based solar PV manufacturer, announced it was putting a $20 million U.S. factory expansion and hundreds of new jobs on hold because of the new tariffs. SunPower does most of its manufacturing in the Philippines and Mexico.

According to analysis by MAKE Consulting, to replace the expected lost solar capacity, wind installations could increase by nearly 800 megawatts from 2018 to 2021.



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