Renewables execs slam US government over solar tariff petition

Apr 25, 2022 12:56 PM ET
  • United States solar players have actually struck out at the Department of Commerce's (DOC) transfer to investigative supposed circumvention of antidumping as well as countervailing duties (AD/CVD), advising that the hazard of tariffs is already jeopardising President Biden's climate goals.
Renewables execs slam US government over solar tariff petition
Image: NextEra Energy

In a declaration made ahead of Biden's Earth Day speech today, George Hershman, chief executive officer of utility-scale installer SOLV Energy, stated the risk of tariffs "has effectively frozen solar release and also got rid of the good-paying jobs we need to supply the President's climate program".

He added: "If the Biden administration is serious about broadening clean energy to combat climate change, they have to reject the reckless tariff petition."

DOC last month launched the probe right into whether crystalline silicon PV cells as well as modules assembled in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand as well as Vietnam are circumventing US AD/CVD orders on cells and modules from China.

The department's decision to explore is having a "serious or damaging effect" on greater than 90% of participants to a Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) survey published previously this month, with three-quarters of checked solar business saying that panel distributions have been cancelled or delayed.

One developer that is forecasting considerable delays just from the danger of the tariffs is NextEra Energy, which anticipates 2.1-- 2.8 GW of 2022 of its solar and storage projects may move from 2022 to 2023.

This is due to a reluctance from some suppliers to ship panels to the United States until the DOC makes a preliminary determination in August.

Talking on a conference call with investors yesterday, NextEra CEO John Ketchum rhetorically asked exactly how the administration could "possibly pull the rug out from under the industry".

If the DOC does locate evidence of circumvention in the existing examination and also were to find up with a last determination in January 2023, the tariffs would certainly not be recognized until the very first quarter of 2025, according to NextEra management.

" If you don't know what the tariff rates are in Southeast Asia, it forces you back to China where the tariffs are known and also have been recognized for the last ten years, which is an absolutely perverse outcome, an outrageous outcome, quite frankly," Ketchum stated.

He included: "It makes absolutely no sense to force company back to China, which is what you were attempting to stop in the first place."

With the uncertainty from the investigation happening each time when natural gas, coal and also oil costs have actually raised significantly, NextEra CFO Kirk Crews claimed this has actually left "solar as well as storage space as one of the few ways to relieve inflationary pressures on electrical energy costs". Therefore, to name a few, Crews claimed the business is optimistic that DOC will not enforce the duties.

The comments come after profession body the American Clean Power Association released data from a survey previously this week that discovered the uncertainty of potential retroactive tariffs is forcing business to delay or cancel over 24GW of projects and also consider laying off 38,000 workers-- equivalent to greater than a third of the country's utility-scale solar workforce.

Both SOLV Energy as well as NextEra management have this week required progress on the stalled Build Back Better Act.

" Now is the moment to move on it like nothing else," Ketchum said. "Currently is the moment to produce real manufacturing incentives if you want to redomesticate the supply chain to the US."

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