US solar seriously threatened by trade war, rates, ITC extension

Credit: user:dan
Credit: user:dan

The US solar industry faces three major challenges, any one of which would be problematic.

  • The US is imposing tariffs on Chinese PV panels, forcing prices here at home up. This trade war is pointless, as most trader wars usually are. Higher prices will definitely slow the growth of solar.
  • Utilities are fighting distributed solar and will be fought at the local level at public rate hearings. They can impose new fees for home solar and in general make it difficult for rooftop solar to be economical.
  • The Investment Tax Credit has helped. However, it needs to be extended to at least 2018. Virtually all other forms of energy get subsidies and tax breaks. renewables should too.

The solution is for all solar companies to join together/ They can’t fight these problems on their own.

These three issues — the trade war, utility rate design and the extension of the ITC — impact every solar firm in the country and every firm in their supply chain,” he said, urging those solar companies who haven’t joined SEIA to do so in order to help win these battles.

“These issues cannot be dealt with successfully by individual companies.”

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