Unveiling the Future of US Solar Imports: Bifacial Panels and Impending Tariffs

Hello solar enthusiasts! Welcome back to my blog, where we dive into the latest developments in the solar industry. Today we’ll explore some hot-off-the-press news that pertains to bifacial solar modules, tariffs, and the implications these could have for you if you’re thinking about installing solar panels for your home.

To put things into context, bifacial solar modules are state-of-the-art panels capable of producing electricity from light hitting both sides of the panel. They’ve grown incredibly popular, representing about 98% of solar module imports into the United States.

Now, on to the burning topic: It appears the Biden Administration is poised to upend the solar marketplace by revoking a critical tariff exemption on these bifacial modules. Last year, this exemption had been reinstated by the U.S. Court of International Trade, effectively keeping costs for these imported modules low and contributing significantly to the growth of solar companies.

The potential rollback of this exemption comes in response to a petition from a large-scale solar company with a significant manufacturing presence within the U.S. This company has plans to expand its operations in the U.S, using local resources to establish a fully integrated, silicon-based solar supply chain.

Industry insiders project that this change could take effect as early as June. This might sound like bad news if you’re considering a solar array for your home. However, don’t despair just yet. Some domestic solar manufacturers may stand to benefit from a new round of antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) tariffs. In a nutshell, these are tariffs applied to goods found to be evading import duties, and they could pave the way for enhanced competition and growth among local solar companies.

If these new tariffs come into play, we might see a shift in the origin of solar components. Currently, a large proportion of the U.S. supply of solar components comes from four Southeast Asian countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia. However, these countries have been alleged to harbor dumped products from China, hence the consideration for AD/CVD tariffs.

Given these ongoing developments, the solar industry is bracing for changes in utility-scale module pricing. Clean Energy Associates projects the cost could increase to about $0.40 to $.50 per watt as a result of AD/CVD enforcement, considerably higher than the record low price we saw in late 2023 when it plummeted to $0.13 per watt.

While these proposed changes might initially slow down U.S. module transactions as solar companies and potential buyers anticipate the impact on tariffs, it’s important to remember that the solar industry is highly adaptive. So, anyone considering solar panels for their home shouldn’t be too concerned. Instead, keep an eye on new developments and remember – the future of solar remains bright!

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/04/17/bifacial-panels-representing-98-of-u-s-solar-imports-may-soon-be-subject-to-tariffs/

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