- On May 23rd, 2017, the US International Trade Commission (UTITC) investigated, in conjunction with section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, whether the imports of crystalline solar photovoltaic cells and modules were causing “serious injuries” to domestic products of CSPV cells and modules.
- If the UTITC finds that in fact those cells and modules do cause harm, it will be recommended that the President should require limits on the imports of those cells and modules used in the US.
- The main companies filing the petition/investigation are Suniva and SolarWorld.
- That means it would be twice as hard to sell someone on going solar when the initial investment almost doubles.
What does that mean to you going solar?
That means that the initial investment almost doubles, which isn't a good thing. The products that will come in will have less harmful cells and therefore the quality of the product itself would be better. This should give you peace of mind but then again, it all comes down to price and how much the solar system will save you long term. If this petition gets pulled into fruition, the solar industry process will change drastically.
What if my panels are made in the USA?
According to our solar energy experts, it is more about the import of CSPV modules and cells that make up the panels, as well as certain types of panels that have these, rather than the import of ALL solar equipment. Since many panels are made with CSPV, that is why we noted that the price of solar panels (specifically those with these types of modules and cells) would be affected, and it could cause solar prices of all products to double in a number of years.
The petition itself doesn’t mention other types of modules and cells made in the US but if President Trump were to enforce these limitations, it looks as if the USA production of these same CSPV cells and modules would also be affected, and the solar industry overall as well.
Why should I care?
This investigation is critical to the US Solar industry. It could potentially stop the import of solar panels and other products into the US due to due to harmful injuries associated with working (and the instillation of) these such materials. This would cause prices of solar panels to increase close to double their current rates.
What will the ramifications/impact to solar industry be?
The petition for the investigation basically requests that the ITC recommend that President Trump impose global safeguards for 4 years. If these petitions are granted, the price of imported solar panels and other such products could potentially double.
Basically what you need to know is that although this petition is beneficial for these two companies in question, it would be damaging to the whole solar industry in the US (and possibly in other countries as well that use US solar products). The CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is strongly opposing the ITC complaint (petition in question).
Two companies and a bunch of jobs aren’t worth the millions of jobs and projects that will be affected; not to mention the entire US solar industry.