Solar Power World reached out to solar contractors to get their thoughts on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recent decision to impose tariffs and countervailing duties on Chinese solar panel manufacturers. Here are their responses:
On behalf of 97% to 98% of the U.S. solar industry that fought against SolarWorld, we are all looking forward to ending this distraction and returning to our everyday focus of creating jobs and lowering renewable energy costs.
The commerce decision will not impact our company. We only use USA made products for the projects that we provide the solar equipment. This decision will hopefully improve the chances that the USA solar manufacturers will have an improved solar market to financially make it. I have heard both sides and I think what is lost in the discussion is the importance of having local & national solar firms. This is the new energy source (solar) for the future and I have concerns if this new energy source ends up depending on foreign sources for its production whether it is an utility grade system or one on a neighbors roof. I think we have all seen what dependence on foreign sources causes for our country’s energy needs and the political ramifications.
We’ve made it a point to promote and install American made modules and PV products. Doing so will continue to create manufacturing jobs and sustain renewable energy technology in America. We have got to make sure our trading partners are playing by the rules. Allowing them to sell their modules at unfairly low prices would ultimately result in a monopoly of the U.S. market and the loss of thousands of jobs. Domestic manufacturing is a key component when trying to reach energy independence.
To date, Inovateus Solar has not seen much impact of the increase in tariffs on Chinese solar panels. Currently, it has not affected our business.
Inovateus Solar LLC
South Bend, Ind.
I’m certainly not a world trade expert by any measure, but I think that while CASM likely has a valid point that current Chinese support for PV manufacturing may have a negative impact on U.S. PV manufacturing jobs, that same Chinese support has most certainly, at least up to this point, created net-positive job growth in the United States. The recent exponential price declines in PV prices have accelerated the technology’s adoption at a pace that was not anticipated for several years. This adoption has created multiple job growth sectors downstream.
Would that our government — all branches — would, instead of choosing to slap the wrist of a foreign government for supporting their PV industry, support ours more wholeheartedly. That, most certainly, would offer far more benefit to CASM, to the US PV industry, and to the citizens of the United States.
Founder and President
UPDATED, 12:23 P.M. (Frank Andorka)
At this time, when the solar industry as a whole, is working diligently to try to meet grid parity this comes as a huge speed bump. For a majority of large scale commercial and utility scale projects the bottom line makes or breaks the deal. The ruling from the ITC will just make it that much more difficult to meet grid parity and to get more projects out of the ground. In my opinion, this will have a more widespread negative effect on the U.S. solar industry than allowing free trade.
President / CEO
Paradise Power Company
If you are a contractor and have thoughts, please send them to Editorial Director Frank Andorka at fandorka@solarpowerworldonline or call him at 440-234-4531, Ext. 110.