Solar Power Industry Suffers From the Presidents Tariff
The industry of alternative sources of energy is forced to abolish and freeze investments because of President Donald Trump’s tariff. The sums are about $2.5 billion. This tariff on imported solar panels results also job losses. The companies building or developing U.S. solar panels say that it makes more than two doubles in a planned budget to capitalize on tax on imports.
The ambiguous effect of the tariff emphasizes how protectionist trade interventions can damage domestic industries while preserving them from a foreign contest. Reviewers of the top solar panels providers say that companies, which were hurt by Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. Therefore, farmers had to buy the equipment made from steel at higher prices.
White House officials refrained from commenting. The tariff was released in January by President Trump despite the fact of protests from the solar companies and developers that such action would slow down any solar projects and solar sector at all.
The industry of solar power now competes with gas and coal ones. Unlike in the gas and coal industries, in the U.S. solar power companies, there are about 250,000 employers (which is three times more).
Lost profits and workplaces
The plan provides 30 percent tariff to be valid for four years, decreasing during this time by 5 percent per year. Solar battery developers say the fee will initially raise the cost of large installations by 10 percent.
Developer Cypress Creek Renewables LLC said he had to withhold $1.5 billion in projects because the tariff raises the expenses above the level of his competitiveness. One more developer Southern Current was forced to act on the same scheme by freezing about $1 billion of projects.
Senior Vice President of renewable energy Scott Canada Scott Canada said that he aimed to hire about 1,200 people on solar projects this year, but is forced to halve this number because of the tariff.
As expected, the Presidents tariff raised the manufacturing sector that could significantly increase panel production in the U.S. and lower prices over time. So, regardless of the fact of the growing popularity of using solar-powered electricity at night and the successfully developing industry, the sector loses jobs and profit.
Panel manufacturers First Solar and JinkoSolar claimed about spending $ 800 million on projects in order to escalate panel construction since the tariff was initiated. Also, he stated about the creating about 700 new vacancies.
Recently Korea’s Hanwha Q CELLS added that they are going to build a solar factory in Georgia next year. There were no details about new workplaces.
After the declaration of the tariff, SunPower Corp bought SolarWorld’s Oregon factory, thus saving 208 jobs. They stated their plan to hire more employees in order to broaden the activities of the factory, but without clarification about the number. However, SunPower Corp also added that the tariff influenced other parts of the organization, so it has to reduce 250 jobs.
The interesting fact is that the jobs in the panel producing industry are decreasing not only because of the tariff but, mainly because of operational automation.
Martin Pochtaruk, president of Heliene says there are a lot of robots and factories are highly automated, that is why there is no need to hire too many humans.
We see the attitude of top-rates solar panel companies to the innovative Trump’s tariff. The idea about alternative sources of energy is one of the best decisions for our planet. But it is not only about the ecology. The tariff is imposed to save jobs and maintain American influence abroad.
Make sure to read about the solar power projects that might change the world!