Did you expect solar equipment to be the next shot-across-the bow from Trump to the Chinese in the stirring trade wars? Certainly, the 30% tariff now in place was expected, perhaps even anticipated to be higher. But, now that it is here, what are the ramifications for solar, renewables, jobs, declines in the use of fossil fuel and for us?
Our guests, Christian Roselund, Editor for PV Magazine, US, and Dan Whitten, the Solar Energy Industry V/P of Communications certainly gave us some great insight and started to answer some of these questions Dan, of course, is most concerned about jobs for his members. Christian looks at the global implications behind the new fees.
This is, as you might guess, a complicated issue. Historically, there’s nothing unusual about trade measures imposed by one country on another. In fact, this is just one of 150 instituted within the last few years against China, and one of 1085 protectionist tariffs in place. This one, though, is different. It strikes at the heart of a solar industry that is booming. It immediately makes renewables less competitive against fossil fuel supplies. It is viewed more as a political maneuver than solid financial step forward.
Ironically, there’s not much production capacity for solar cells in the US. Slowing imports might put us in jeopardy of losing supplies. It will clearly drive up pricing? For what gain? Not sure we have, in fact, the answer for that.
But, this is a critically important issue. Get involved by listening to this conversation and hearing both sides of the arguments. As a consumer, commercial or residential, this decision will hurt you. How badly is up to you. One way to sort through the changes is to get well educated. Christian and Dan, here on this segment, certainly help you with that.