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Julia Pyper is a Senior Editor at Greentech Media covering clean energy policy, the solar industry, grid edge technologies and electric mobility. E Publishing, and has covered clean energy and climate change issues across the U. Solar experts say tariffs can work — just not in this scenario. As a broad cross-section of the U. President Trump insisted they would spur new American jobs. But some recent announcements indicate that the president’s comments might not be entirely off-base. The program will leverage the testing and development capabilities of DOE’s 17 national labs, and facilitate connections with both corporate and venture capital sources to help lower the barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, in a statement. The American Made Solar Prize will galvanize our country’s entrepreneurs, allow them to utilize technologies and innovations developed through DOE’s early-stage research and development, and, ultimately, bring new American-made products to market.
GTM inquired with the DOE and confirmed the program is underway. As the administration seeks to support the country’s long-term manufacturing capabilities, Trump’s newly released solar tariffs could also give a boost to manufacturing output — and jobs — in the nearer term. The day Trump signed the proclamation on new solar tariffs, Texas-based solar module manufacturer Mission Solar Energy announced that it’s ramping up production to meet 2018 demand. 23 million in growth funding from a syndicate of leading strategic and financial investors to expand its manufacturing capacity in the U. Domestic solar module makers in particular have been bolstered by the president’s decision to allow for 2. 5 gigawatts of tariff-free solar cells to be imported each year, for the four-year duration of the trade remedy. Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York. To flesh out their growth plans, Tesla and other module makers will be watching closely to see how the 2.
5 gigawatts of tariff-free cells will be allocated. Trump administration trade leaders could decide to give each cell-producing country a portion of the 2. 5-gigawatt quota, or they could approve a first-come, first-served model where companies rush to get cells in under the threshold. The specifics on cells and other matters will be addressed in the coming days. Jae Yang, president of Mission Solar Energy. Theoretically, all of these companies will benefit from tariffs on imported solar products, but it’s not clear that all of these companies have active factories in the U.
Despite launching the trade case, Suniva is unlikely to reboot operations after declaring bankruptcy last year. The company initiated manufacturing again last fall as the trade case advanced. If you build tariffs, will foreign manufacturers come? New players may also come on the scene. GTM reported last fall that several foreign cell and module manufacturers were considering opening facilities in the U. More recently, Archie Flores, general manager of Longi Solar Technologies U.
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Flores said in a December interview. Any manufacturer right now would have to evaluate options in the U. We are actively doing our homework at the same time we are making sure that we are in a good alliance with the offtakers, to verify if it makes sense for both sides to manufacture in the U. Because there will always be a cost difference between making it here versus making them elsewhere.
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Longi is committed to the U. We have aspirations to capture a good market share of the U. And if you go back to Longi’s balance sheet strength, we can pull off an investment if we decide to do so. Other companies may also decide to do so. There have been several reports that a foreign solar manufacturer approached city officials in Jacksonville, Florida earlier this month about opening its first manufacturing and assembly plant in the U.
54 million in tax incentives in exchange for creating 800 jobs. I don’t see this as a rational decision” MJ Shiao, head of Americas research for GTM Research, said he’s skeptical that such a factory would make financial sense. It’s hard for me to believe that a foreign manufacturing company would set up shop in the U. 410 million, and it’s not even going to start manufacturing until sometime in 2019.
Light Company, said he expects major panel producers will find a way to serve U. They’ll figure out a way to compete. And it may take a little bit, but fundamentally, I’m not worried about the long-term implications of whatever happens with the ITC. I just don’t think in this scenario they are likely to work” So what does this all mean for the jobs President Trump promised? Not much, if you ask Abigail Ross Hopper, Solar Energy Industries Association president and CEO. We are pleased that the administration recognized the importance of the module manufacturing here today and have a 2. We represent many of those companies, and we think it will be helpful for them to continue to produce modules here.
By SEIA’s estimates, current domestic producers can only meet around 20 percent of U. 2018 — and that’s only if they’re able to rapidly max out their capacity. It takes months to build and set up a module assembly facility in the U. Given that the tariff will only be in place for four years, and that it declines each year, there simply may not be enough time to open a U. And the possibility that Trump’s tariffs could be challenged and overturned at the World Trade Organization doesn’t help matters. Obviously, we welcome new manufacturing capacity, but we need to be realistic about what that is likely to look like.
These new facilities are largely automated. When you think about the impact on jobs — which our president cares about — it’s going to have a minimal impact. And that is why so many stakeholders and onlookers in the Section 201 trade case have been so critical of the president’s protectionist trade action. Join us for the 11th annual Solar Summit 2018 in San Diego, May 1-2.
Powered by the unique blend of research and economic analysis from the GTM Research team, this year’s agenda will feature themes from beyond traditional project finance to innovations in solar and the transformation of electricity. This story has been updated to clarify a statement on the American-Made Solar Prize website. Can Newcomer Energy Vault Break the Curse of Mechanical Grid Storage? Interested in the latest news, events, discounts? We also post our resources on social media Follow us! 2018 Greentech Media or its affiliated companies. Rizik is the Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund.
With three decades of experience in technology, finance and law, he has played a principal role in dozens of multi-million dollar venture capital transactions. Prior to forming Renaissance, Chris served as a co-founder, partner, and Board member of Ardesta, LLC, an industry accelerator dedicated to the development of microsystems and other small technologies. Chris also co-founded and served as Managing Director of Avalon Investments, then Michigan’s largest venture capital firm. Prior to joining Avalon, Chris was a senior partner with Dickinson Wright PLLC, one of the Midwest’s oldest law firms, where he led the firm’s Emerging Company department. America’s most popular soul music online magazine. Jeffrey Rinvelt is the Principal for the Fund. Jeff’s diverse background in venture capital and technology along with his experience working in various start-up ventures uniquely positions him for this role.