March 2, 2018 Read More →

Trump’s Solar Tariff Seen as a Calculated Blow Against an Emerging American Industry

Fox News:

“I think it’s a tax on solar panels,” charges Clean Energy Collective CEO Paul Spencer. “It raises the price of solar, which then raises the price of electricity for every American.”

Spencer is a pioneer in a solar business model where people who can’t or don’t want to have panels on their homes can get solar power anyway. Companies like Clean Energy Collective build solar panel arrays and allow customers to buy the power generated by one or more of the panels.

“Solar has hundreds if not thousands of people who are building the arrays, constructing them, engineering them, the metal is all coming from local, the steel, etc.,” Spencer points out.  

Some 250,000 people have jobs in the industry as a whole, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, which said in a statement: “There were 38,000 jobs in solar manufacturing in the U.S. at the end of 2016, and all but 2,000 made something other than cells and panels.”

The association predicts the president’s “…decision effectively will cause the loss of roughly 23,000 American jobs this year, including many in manufacturing, and it will result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments.”

“Protectionism is somebody just admitting failure,” said Al Lewis, business editor of the Houston Chronicle, which covers energy industries extensively. “When we can’t compete on a certain product, because labor’s cheaper somewhere else, we put in tariffs … and they’re being cast in the rhetoric of a trade war. Well, a trade war is not going to be good for anybody.”

More: Direction, future of US solar panel industry in conflict after Trump’s tariffs

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