Solar Tariffs & US manufacturing
- May 12, 2022 1:25 pm GMT
CNN posted this story today...
It sounds bad, but so is slavery and using a third country to duck tariffs has been a time honored dodge that takes additional investigations to prove or disprove. While I feel for the people who may be out of work soon (or already are), the fact that the US Government has done very little to build a supply chain in the US is the larger problem - poly-silicon is the base of most PV panels, it is made almost entirely in one country (oh, and it is the base of most semi-conductor chips too). Cell manufacturing is mostly in a couple of countries, in Asia. Making panels from those cells is almost all in Asia and it is those panel makers who use cells from mostly that 1 country.
It is not just opinion but confirmed fact that slave labor is used where many of the poly-silicon plants and the cell manufacture is.
While I am unhappy that this tariff and investigation are slowing solar projects - I am more unhappy that we will be dependent on that one country for the generation of electrical power from the sun in the future, and a cut off of those products by either country will potentially end up in a nation wide black out.
We need a supply chain for solar that is independent of Asia, may be not for 100% of our needs, but at least 50% of our needs should be built here in North America. The fact that it will be a strategic part of our critical infrastructure should be all that is needed to get the government working on this - look how fast they mobilized to help Europe with natural gas. Should we not put the same priority on sustainable infrastructure supply chains?
Get Published - Build a Following
The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.
If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.