The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) issued a white paper with the goal to establish a stronger domestic solar supply chain in the United States and reduce reliance on global imports, particularly from China.
The paper, “American Solar and Storage Manufacturing Renaissance: Managing the Transition Away from China,” outlines a plan for reducing imports at a pace that aligns with efforts to re-shore manufacturing and scale domestic production in key parts of the supply chain, SEIA stated in a press release.
“American control of the solar supply chain is critical for our national security and economic strength,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “China is not going to willingly give up its market share, so we must be methodical and strategic about how we capitalize on the policy certainty from the Inflation Reduction Act and build this American clean energy manufacturing engine.”
The paper claims that the current policy environment is enough to manufacture all elements of the solar supply chain in the United States in the medium and long term. It also states that this independence does not mean America will cut off from ethical global markets, but instead should capitalize on the opportunity to reduce the country’s reliance on China and other potential adversaries for clean energy equipment and materials.
SEIA is also releasing an interactive map that tracks new and existing solar and storage manufacturing facilities in the United States. The map includes the new clean energy manufacturing investments that have been announced since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its historic investment in domestic manufacturing. The map incorporates facilities across the solar and storage value chain, including facilities that produce raw materials such as polysilicon, solar module assembly factories and facilities that produce solar components like racking and tracking systems.
Users can filter the map by product type, facility size, location, jobs, investment total and production volume. The map includes 42 GW of U.S. solar module manufacturing announcements to date, marking significant progress toward SEIA’s stated goal of 50 GW of domestic manufacturing capacity by 2030.
According to SEIA analysis, the IRA is projected to grow America’s solar manufacturing workforce from about 34,000 jobs today to more than 150,000 solar manufacturing jobs by the end of the decade. By 2030, nearly 20% of solar jobs will be in manufacturing, up from about 12.5% today.
“The tides have turned in the solar manufacturing business landscape thanks to the IRA, and the announcements already made will create up to 80,000 high quality, family-supporting jobs,” Hopper said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg. With speedy implementation of the 45X manufacturing tax credit, more well-paying solar careers will be on the way.”
News item from SEIA