Washington solar company 'devastated' over Trump tariff

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Although we know that tariffs are going to hit USA solar imports, we don't know the final impact on the industry.

SunPower has argued that its premium-priced panels, which are among the most efficient in the industry at transforming sunlight into electricity, should receive an exemption from the tariffs because their unique technology can not be compared with that of more conventional models, including those made by the companies that sought the tariffs, Suniva and SolarWorld.

Here are the particulars: All imported solar panels will be taxed at a 30 percent rate to start. Since there are 2.5 GW of solar cell imports exempted, which would likely be made into solar modules by someone (who is TBD), that leaves just 3.8 GW of solar imports that could be hit by tariffs.

Solar panels and inverters come with a 25-year warranty and require very little maintenance due to their passive nature (no moving parts). Its panels are more expensive than competitors and, as a result, the tariff on its imports will be higher as well.

"The entire industry is against this", he told KIRO Radio. The threat of tariffs in 2017 led customers to put a high value on the company's thin-film panels, which weren't threatened by tariffs and ensured the cost structure of projects being built years in the future.

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Although the move was meant to help American manufacturers, some in the sector said it could slow USA investment in solar power and cost thousands of U.S. jobs.

Markey added that he plans to fight back against the Trump administration's tariff and ensure the solar industry has the support needed to continue creating jobs in MA and across the country.

Through a partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the DOE has launched the American-Made Solar Prize, which it says is created to spur innovations in the solar industry by bringing the public into the equation.

In South Carolina, for example, Wilke says, they are poised to lose about 7,000 jobs because of the tariffs.

The tariff may not have as big an impact as the market thinks, either. US solar manufacturers may not have the capacity to step in and meet domestic demand, Greentech Media says.