Solar Panel Tariffs: Snafu or Salvation?

With the recent announcement of steep tariffs on solar panels and cells imported to the U.S., the question is whether there is going to be a winner in this playoff of Us against Them.

Us, pardon the pun, is the U.S., specifically manufacturers of solar products and, even more specifically, the publicized efforts of two solar companies, Suniva Inc. and SolarWorld Americas, who said cheap imports were hurting their U.S. operations.

Who is Them? Take your pick. China. South Korea. Malaysia. World trade organizations. Anyone buying solar power. Solar power workers.

Opinions are running strong and hot on whether tariffs (initiated by a little used trade law about industries affected by imports) will help or hinder the fast-growing solar industry in the U.S.
For the next four years, the tariffs start at 30% and will eventually fall to 15%. The first 2.5 gigawatts of solar cells will be exempt so that U.S. manufacturers can still access supplies.

Will the tariffs make solar energy more expensive? Will they slow down the exponential growth of solar installations? Will the tariffs result in losing U.S. jobs and, if so, how many and in what segments?

Here’s what The New York Times had to say.

Inquiring minds would like to know your opinion!

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Steven_J._SchleiderBy Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD + C President, Metropolitan Valuation Services

We Said it First! – NY Solar Rocks and Rules!

Well over a year ago, in November 2016, we wrote about the future – New York City’s future to be exact – in a scenario where the city becomes the largest solar energy producer in the world.

The prediction incorporated solar panels, solar glass and electricity-producing glass coatings, solar storage, buildings functioning off the grid, and a net zero carbon foot print, as well as updates in fast-moving solar technologies.

Thus, we were quite gratified when Newsweek published an article a year later with similar information that included Michigan State University’s R&D of a fully transparent solar concentrator that can turn any glass, from your office window, home skylight and Smartphone screen, into the equivalent of a solar panel.

Having been prescient on this score, will our prediction that NYC will become the world’s largest solar energy producer be far behind? Stay tuned.

Read our article (Solar in the City: Skyscrapers Rock & Rule, November 2016) and many others on solar power in this blog’s Solar category.

Read the Newsweek article here:

http://www.newsweek.com/fossil-fuels-transparent-solar-panels-harvest-energy-windows-msu-691308

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