Look to the states for solar progress
Once again, the solar industry finds itself with a federally sanctioned headache. After nearly a year of waiting, Trump finally made his decision to apply tariffs to imported solar cells and panels.
On a conference call with SEIA members about next steps after the tariff, president Abigail Ross Hopper said it’s time to focus on the positives. She encouraged members to put in the work to advocate for good solar policy in the states and in the federal government, gain clarity around the new tax laws and build public support for solar.
There’s much to be hopeful about at the state level. After outgoing New Jersey governor Chris Christie pocket vetoed some progressive solar legislation, new governor Phil Murphy stepped in and signed the state back up for a nine-state cap-and-trade compact to reduce greenhouse gases. We’ve also seen the results of good renewable energy policy in New York, where solar power has grown by 1,000% in six years.
Although statements like the one by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt suggesting climate change could benefit humans are disheartening, it’s important to look at what happens when states actively procure solar power to offset coal and oil impacts. With such unfounded remarks in the public domain, it’s also important to keep educating ourselves.
In this issue, Kelly took a look at how the solar industry is dealing with increasingly extreme natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires. Kathie examined the different ways to add storage to a project. And I wrote a case study about a school that went solar as part of a comprehensive plan to achieve carbon neutrality. We’ve also compiled some great installation tips from industry leaders to make your work easier and more efficient.
I’m looking forward to industry conferences more than usual this year. I want to know what contractors and other thought leaders have to say about the state of the union, and how the
solar industry will navigate this new hurdle. Feel free to tweet me your thoughts now @SolarKelseyM.
No matter what happens as a result of these tariffs, SPW will be here for you, working hard to deliver content that helps you do your jobs better and keep your businesses growing.