Granholm 'deeply concerned' solar tariff probe could thwart United States tidy energy strategies

May 9, 2022 02:19 PM ET
  • US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has raised issues regarding the country's capacity to move to a carbon pollution-free power field by 2035 unless there is a quick resolution to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) solar tariff investigation.
Granholm 'deeply concerned' solar tariff probe could thwart United States tidy energy strategies
Image: Department of Energy

During a Senate Energy and also Natural Resources Committee hearing last Thursday, Granholm was asked what is at risk for the US's solar sector if the DOC's examination were to drag out for months or years.

" [What's] at risk is the complete surrounding of the financial investment, as well as the jobs, and also the freedom that we would certainly be seeking as a nation to obtain our gas from our very own generation sources," she stated.

" I recognize it's an adjudicative process that's in the Department of Commerce and for that reason it's not in the Department of Energy's purview, but I certainly am deeply concerned concerning being able to attain the objective of getting to 100% clean electrical power by 2035 if this is not solved quickly."

The DOC determined in March to examine whether solar cells as well as modules assembled in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are preventing US anti-dumping and also countervailing task (AD/CVD) orders on cells and modules from China.

United States solar designers are dealing with extensive module shipment cancellations as well as delays in the middle of the hazard of retroactive tariffs that could be set at 50-- 250% if the DOC does locate proof of circumvention.

With project development slowing, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has discovered that the investigation will lead to a decline of 24GW of planned United States solar capacity in the next two years.

Reacting to Granholm's comments, Senator Martin Heinrich claimed he is speaking with makers and also installers concerning job losses as well as project terminations. "It's unqualified any of us to inform Commerce just how to deal with that process. However, if it's refrained from doing truly, truly promptly, we are mosting likely to destroy an entire sector," he claimed.

Heinrich was amongst a bipartisan group of 22 senators that previously this month contacted Head of state Biden requesting that the management swiftly assesses the case. The letter, which can be reviewed here, alerted that increased tariffs "would significantly undercut the growth of the solar sector" as well as cost 10s of hundreds of American jobs.

One more notary word for word, Senator Mazie Hirono, said during recently's hearing that solar projects "are coming to a shrilling halt" as a result of the prospective outcome of the investigation. She asked what resources the DOC could offer to resolve temporary impacts on solar projects and also address longer term issues connecting to the solar supply chain.

Granholm reacted: "It does beg the question of building out the full supply chain for solar inside the United States so we don't need to fret about the import issue."

Granholm's warnings regarding the impact on the United States's energy transition came as utility NiSource claimed it has actually pushed back the shutdown of a few of its coal systems as a result of solar project hold-ups emerging from the DOC's tariff probe.

An industry-wide survey published last month by SEIA discovered that the possibility of the United States attaining its environment objectives "grows dimmer every day this examination continues".

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