Solar Tariffs Paused for Two Years and American Solar Manufacturing Accelerated

On June 6th, 2022, the White House announced that they would suspend solar tariffs for 2 years on imported solar panels from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. At the same time, President Biden has authorized use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate American production of solar panels and other clean energy technology. The press release stated that the DPA would “put the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity.” This is similar to what the DPA did for medical supplies during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the scale and sense of urgency needed to fight the climate crisis. In addition to solar panel parts, the DPA will also expand manufacturing of building insulation, air source heat pumps, and grid infrastructure – all crucial aspects of the transition away from fossil fuels.

The suspension of tariffs will accelerate 2022 installations across America, as foreign manufacturers had previously reduced solar imports, afraid of retroactive tariffs. Currently about 80% of solar panels in the US are imported from Southeast Asia, but hopefully with the added help of the DPA the industry can decrease its reliance on imported panels as companies ramp up production Stateside. According to the White House press release, the DPA involves federal procurement preferences which “can stimulate demand for up to a gigawatt of domestically produced solar modules in the near term, and up to 10 gigawatts over the next decade from U.S. government demand alone.”

Because ReVision is a proud member of Amicus Solar Cooperative, we buy our solar modules in bulk with other local, mission-driven solar companies around the country. This allows us to get favorable pricing and better deals, so thankfully the recent debates over tariffs have not affected our pricing. At ReVision we are primarily installing Q CELLS solar panels, the majority of which are American-made in their Georgia-based factory. Owned by South Korean company Hanwha, Q CELLS is trying to rebuild the US supply chain for clean energy technology, and create more American jobs in solar manufacturing. The Georgia factory, which is the largest solar manufacturing site in the US, expects to double or triple in capacity and jobs in the next few years.

“The stakes could not be higher. That is why President Biden also continues to urge Congress to quickly pass tax cuts and additional investments that advance U.S. clean energy manufacturing and deployment. Failing to take these actions would deny consumers access to cost-cutting clean energy options, add risks to our power grid, and stall domestic clean energy construction projects that are critical to tackling the climate crisis.” —White House, June 6, 2022