February 5, 2021
The Impact of Tariffs on Utility-Scale Solar
In the last few years, installation of utility-scale solar facilities has increased, and is expected to continue growing to meet the demand for clean energy. The Trump Administration enacted tariffs on the import of solar cells and modules, however, and as a result, prices of domestically manufactured solar equipment have risen. Repealing these import tariffs would allow domestic manufacturers, developers, and installers to more effectively compete globally and make progress on domestic clean energy goals, argue AAF’s Director of Energy Policy Ewelina Czapla and Data and Policy Analyst Tom Lee.
The institution of tariff rates on solar panels and modules has had an outsized impact on the price of solar panels. The elimination of exemptions and failure to expand import quotas has further exacerbated the impact of the tariff. The tariff fails to address existing market conditions, such as domestic dependence on Southeast Asian imports and the increased demand for bifacial solar panels. All of these factors combined with increased costs and prices have hurt economic growth and investment. The repeal of the tariffs would allow domestic manufacturers to more effectively compete globally and would support U.S. solar growth to meet both climate and clean energy goals.