We have new tariffs for solar panels. Last week, in a supposed effort to retain American jobs, Trump slapped a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. One could say, the world of solar energy is growing too fast for Donald Trump.
“You’re going to have people getting jobs again and we’re going to make our own product again. It’s been a long time,” said Trump as he signed the executive order.
While the argument may sound good on paper, in actuality, solar experts warn, it doesn’t work out that way. The tariff, they say, would lead to thousands of layoffs and raise consumer prices. Companies are forced to buy domestic products, missing out on foreign products that can be made at a lower cost.
Moreover, most jobs in solar energy are in installation, not manufacturing. Installations account for just 14 percent of the total estimated 260,000 jobs created by the solar industry. The US Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that, with increased prices of solar and subsequent decreased demand, the total loss in jobs will be around 23,000.
Looking out over the next five years, research firm Wood Mackenzie calculate a reduction in solar growth by 10 to 15 percent as a result of the tariffs.Arguing against the tariff is Senator John McCain, who says that the tariffs are “nothing more than a tax on consumers” and China, who indicated that it would take the issue up with the World Trade Organization in an attempt to change the decision.
While many had projected the rapid growth of solar energy in the US, these new tariffs could affect that growth. But, on the other hand, they could also put pressure on American companies to produce solar domestically at a competitive rate. Only time will tell.
This article is brought to you by Blue Sky Solar and Roofing, a solar energy company that specializes in top quality solar panels, expert installation, and unrivaled customer service.