The President placed a 30 percent tariff on solar module imports that reduces to half in year 4 in response to the case (Section 201) brought to the US International Trade Commission by two foreign-owned companies in bankruptcy – Suniva and Solar World.
The expected impacts reported include:
– net reduction in solar installations of around 11 percent equaling a 7.6-gigawatt reduction in installed solar PV capacity over the next 5 years from 68.9 gigawatts, Greentech Media;
– “…an added cost of about 10 cents per watt, which would put the imported panels roughly on par with the current U.S. price” BNEF;
an added 10 percent to the cost of a utility-scale solar farm and about 4 percent to rooftop units bought for homes Fortune;
– “…a loss of approximately 23,000 American jobs this year. [Of the] …38,000 jobs in solar manufacturing in the U.S. at the end of 2016, … 36,000 Americans manufactured metal racking systems, high-tech inverters, machines that improved solar panel output by tracking the sun and other electrical products” SEIA; and,
– likely, a negligible increase in US solar manufacturing jobs. Bloomberg, TheHill
“Bloomberg… reports that the tariffs will set the cost of solar electricity back by only around one year — bad, but not much of a bump for a technology undergoing exponential growth.” Bloomberg
On the heels of this decision, the US DOE announced a $3 million American Made Solar Prize.