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President Biden extends Trump-era solar tariffs, with several modifications


First Solar has hired a contractor to build a solar farm in Imperial County.

Sam Hodgson – Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Biden Administration said FridayIt will increase Section 201 tariffs for imported solar panels and cells by four more years. However, it will also make several modifications to the existing provisions.

Solar cells tariff rates will increase from 2.5 to 5 gigawatts. The administration will not change the exclusion of bifacial panel tariffs. The most widespread utility-scale solar project uses bifacial panel, which absorbs light from both sides.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, while they were disappointed by the decision, they “support” the efforts of the administration to reach a compromise.

Abigail Ross Hopper (the association’s CEO and president) stated in a statement that the administration officials reached a balance solution by upholding exclusion of bifacial panelists and increasing tariff rate quotas for cells.

American Clean Power Association supported the extension but applauded that the administration had excluded bifacial panels of tariffs.

Heather Zichal, CEO of American Clean Power Association, stated that the President extended tariffs for monofacial solar modules and cells, giving the industry an additional four years to adapt to the import competition.

Former President Donald Trump announced the Section 201 solar taxes in January 2018They went into effect in that same year. They were to expire on Sunday, February 6. Original tariffs were 30 percent, and each year saw a decrease of 5%.

The U.S. International Trade Commission urged the extension of tariffs in November. The U.S. International Trade Commission stated that the tariffs were necessary in order to “prevent or remediate serious injury” to domestic industries.

“[T]”Here is evidence that domestic industry is making positive adjustments to import competition,” said the commission.

Others disagree and say that the tariffs did little to boost domestic manufacturing. Rystad Energy claims that the tariffs have “completely failed.” The firm stated that the U.S. would import 3 gigawatts in solar cells by 2021. This is an increase of the 2 gigawatts it imported in 2019.

Wood Mackenzie, an energy research company, noted that the cost of solar modules in U.S. projects is 55% higher than in European ones due to tariffs.

It comes at a time of turmoil for the industry. Due to rising raw materials costs and supply chain bottlenecks as well as policy uncertainty, solar stocks have been hammered over the past year. Recent developments have seen the group get caught in an avalanche of a broad rotation out of growth-oriented areasThe market is facing rising rates.

Invesco Solar ETF’s share price has fallen 20%, based on the 25% loss in 2021. Sunrun and SunPower are residential installers. Sunnova, Sunnova and Sunnova trade at around 70% below the 52-week peak levels. The recent high for Enphase was more than 50%.

First Solar, the manufacturer of solar panels, has performed marginally better than its 52-week Nov. 1 peak. It is now 42% lower. This company was one of those who supported the extension of tariffs.

Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar said that First Solar was deeply disappointed by the decision to expand the Section 201 protection duties and keep bifacial panel exclusions. A Section 201 extension that does not exclude bifacial boards is no safeguard.

Samantha Sloan is First Solar’s Vice President for Policy. She stated that in an average solar-scale utility-scale plant, solar panel costs are less than 20%.

A potential change to California’s solar subsidy program is also a concern. A state regulator announced that the decision was pending indefinitely on Thursday.