An exemption from Section 201 tariffs was reinstated for imported bifacial solar panels as of November 16th, based on a decision in the US Court of International Trade. Tariffs that were placed on imported silicon cells and modules in 2018 (starting at a rate of 30% then declining through 2022) were extended to bifacial panels in 2020 (at a rate of 18%), in the last administration’s effort to prop up US solar manufacturing. However, the more efficient bifacial panels are primarily used in utility-scale markets. Many see tariffs on bifacial solar panels as slowing the utility shift to clean energy.
The US doesn’t manufacture solar cells; so, all domestic module makers must import them. The US will continue to import the majority of solar panels needed as well in the near term given that US demand for solar panels is greater than US manufacturers can supply, and that demand is growing dramatically with the shift to a clean energy economy. According to Solar Power World, domestic panel manufacturers can supply under 8 GW of the 30 GW of solar installations projected for 2022.
The Biden administration will decide whether to extend the Section 201 tariffs for another four years after the US International Trade Commission (ITC) makes its recommendation in early December. solarpowerworld