Solar panels not as green as you think as battle looms on ‘massive’ panel tariffs


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Solar panels are imported in bulk into the US, making them cheap but not necessarily green

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Solar panels are not as eco-friendly as you might think. And now an industry group is saying that rising tariffs will cripple the industry.

Most solar panels are imported into the US, making them cheap but not necessarily green.


The problem is how the panels are made.

“Most of [the panels] are produced with energy from carbon-dioxide-belching, coal-burning plants in China,” a Wall Street Journal report Said in July.

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“Solar panels in China are made using Chinese electricity, which is associated with high emissions of CO2,” Robbie AndrewA senior researcher at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, Norway, told Granthshala Business.

But now a group is claiming that China-made panels are coming through countries like Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand to reduce tariffs.

In August, the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC) asked the Commerce Department to investigate “wrongfully traded” imports from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam that are “illegal”. bypass anti-dumping and countervailing duty on China.”

According to A-SMACC, “While Chinese companies now export almost exclusively to the United States from Southeast Asia, the vast majority of manufacturing, research and development and capital investments remain in China.”

“I’m not sure if Malaysia and Vietnam have so much production capacity, some can be ‘redirected’ from other countries because of duties and restrictions,” Fengqi Yu, a professor in Cornell’s Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering told Granthshala Business.

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According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), imports from Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand account for 80% of all panel imports in the US, as reported Reuters.

It is expected that the Commerce Department will soon decide to start trade investigations into solar cells and modules from those countries.

This has triggered a SEIA response, claiming that the tariffs would cripple the industry.

“We are writing to emphasize the immediate and serious threat to the US solar industry from anonymous perimeter petitions recently filed against solar cell and panel imports from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.” SEIA said In a September letter to US Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

“These petitions call for massive duties, ranging from 50% to 250%, already adversely impacting the US solar industry and, if implemented, could harm the industry and every one of our countries. Will destroy the individual company.” Said the letter

The booming solar panel installation market in the US is causing all the fuss

According to SEIA, over the past decade, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 42%.

“Thanks to strong federal policies such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit, rapidly declining costs, and increasing demand in the private and public sector for clean electricity, there are now more than 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity installed nationwide, which translates to 18.9 percent of electricity.” enough for a million houses,” SEIA said.

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