How the Solar Energy Tariff May Stimulate American Manufacturing

Solar energy continues to pave lead the way in the renewable energy market. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) solar energy has grown by roughly 68% every year over the past decade. Furthermore, the average cost for solar installations has declined by nearly 70% since 2010.

Recently, though, President Trump announced plans to target foreign solar companies with a 30% tax tariff on imported products. This means companies must pay an additional 30% tax when shipping solar panels and related solar products into the United States. While some people have criticized this move, market analysts believe it will stimulate the American manufacturing industry.

Currently, American manufacturing companies only build one out of every 10 solar panels installed in the United States. This is largely because it’s cheaper for companies to buy and import solar panels made from foreign companies. The downside to importing solar panels, however, is that it takes jobs away from American workers. With the new solar tariff in place, solar companies may find this is no longer the case.

If foreign companies are forced to pay 30% more in taxes when importing solar panels and related products into the United States, they’ll inevitably raise their prices. As a result, U.S. solar companies may instead buy their solar panels from U.S. manufacturers. This will help to stimulate the American manufacturing industry while creating new jobs in the process.

Our action today helps to create jobs in America for Americans,” said Trump during a televised ceremony.  “We’ll be making solar products now much more so in the United States. Our companies have been decimated, and those companies are going to be coming back strong.”

This isn’t the only positive sign for the American manufacturing industry. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced plans to host solar manufacturing competition with a $3 million prize. Dubbed the American Made Solar Prize, it seeks to drive innovation in the American solar manufacturing market. Participants will have access to the DOE’s laboratories and facilities, as well as venture capital, to develop new solar technologies.

The future looks bright for the American solar manufacturing market. With a newfound focus on made-in-America solar products and technologies, it’s safe to assume that new jobs will be created. The SEIA says that some 250,000 American already work in the market. Thanks to these recent developments, though, these numbers will likely climb even higher in the months and years to come.

No tags for this post.