Solar companies and their investors have hailed the Biden administration’s decision to shake up the U.S. solar industry with a new order that temporarily removes tariffs on imports and bolsters domestic manufacturers.
Why is this important: Solar installations were expected to fall 7% in 2022, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the industry faced supply issues triggered by the prospect of retroactive sanctions applied to previously imported products.
- The Commerce Department announced in late March that it was investigating whether Chinese solar makers were improperly circumventing duties by subsidizing production in several Southeast Asian countries.
- Solar imports plunged, although they remained well above 2018 levels, when imports fell due to President Trump’s imposition of a 30% tariff.
The impact: Biden’s two-year suspension breathes new life into U.S. solar companies, pushing stocks higher on Monday. Installers are increasingly optimistic about their ability to meet demand, while manufacturers have welcomed the administration’s activation of the Defense Production Act to boost domestic production.
- The MAC Global Solar Energy Index rose more than 4% early Monday afternoon as solar stocks such as SunRun, Sunnova Energy, Enphase Energy and Solaredge Technologies surged.
- “During the two-year tariff suspension window, the U.S. solar industry can return to rapid deployment while the Defense Production Act helps expand U.S. solar manufacturing,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of Solar. Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in a statement. , adding that Commerce’s investigation was “crushing” the industry.
Yes, but: The industry is still faced with the possibility of a tariff recovery in two years.
- “This gives us a reprieve, at least for the next two years,” Erica Brinker, chief commercial officer of module maker Array Technologies, told Alan Neuhauser of Axios: Pro Climate Deals.