President Biden expands solar tariffs, with big caveats.

Mr. Biden has pledged to cut US emissions by at least 52% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade, and the administration is counting on solar power to play a key role in reducing emissions. waste from electricity production. A recent report from the Department of Energy shows that solar energy can provide up to 40 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2035, compared with 4% now.

But much of the world’s supply of solar panels comes from China, which has spent heavily on industrial subsidies to support its industry.

According to estimates by Wood MacKenzie, a global energy consulting firm, China dominates all stages of the solar supply chain, producing between 60 and 80 percent of polysilicon, foam panels, and cells. crystalline silicon cells and solar modules in the world.

A White House statement said the tariff decision was “an important step forward in the President’s comprehensive effort to rebuild a robust solar supply chain in North America that will help create more jobs.” well, reducing our reliance on foreign suppliers and meeting the President’s ambitious clean energy. and climate goals. ”

“We have consulted with all areas of the solar industry and all agree that the Section 201 tariff rate does not – by itself – bring solar cell production back or develop modular manufacturing to the extent that it can meet U.S. needs,” the statement said, referring to the Trade Act provision that allows the United States to impose tariffs.

In February 2018, former President Donald J. Trump followed the recommendation of the International Trade Commission, an independent panel that reviews trade cases, in impose tariffs on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells to help protect the domestic industry. The tax rate will start at 30%, and then decrease by 5 percentage points per year over the course of 4 years.

Those tariffs expire this month. But several manufacturers, including Auxin Solar, Suniva, Hanwha Q CELLS USA, LG Electronics and Mission Solar Energy, have petitioned for tax extensions, arguing they are still needed to support the domestic industry.

In November, members of the International Trade Commission encourage extended the tariffs, saying the measures have helped domestic manufacturers but they continue to be “necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury to US industry.”

Lisa Friedman contribution report. President Biden expands solar tariffs, with big caveats.

Fry Electronics Team

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