L R AS Published on Tuesday 14 June 2022 - n° 408 - Categories:US policy, the American PV
Suspension of tariffs on PV products imported into the US
US developers and promoters are welcoming the US President's decision to waive tariffs on solar imports from Southeast Asian countries for 24 months. President to use Defence Production Act
(Defense Production Act) to accelerate the production of clean energy technologies, including photovoltaic panels and panel components.
There have been reservations about the immediate impact of Biden's executive order on panel supply. It is difficult to predict whether it will be enough to get US deployment back on track: most manufacturers have stopped shipping equipment to the US, exacerbating the supply chain constraints of the past year.
All developers and promoters have expressed satisfaction that this will allow the solar industry to get back on track
Mr Biden's intervention comes after months of concern about the supply of photovoltaic panels to the US. That's because imports from Southeast Asia have been virtually frozen as a result of the Department of Commerce investigation.
There is also uncertainty about the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to stimulate domestic manufacturing: this legislation dates from the Cold War. It was designed to encourage domestic manufacturing of strategically important goods. It will be used to accelerate the production of five clean energy technologies, including panels and panel components, building insulation, efficient electric heat pumps for heating and cooling, fuel manufacturing equipment, and other technologies.These include panels and panel components, building insulation, efficient electric heat pumps for heating and cooling, equipment for the manufacture of electrically generated fuels, including electrolyzers, fuel cells and related platinum group metals, and critical power grid infrastructure, such as transformers.
The White House and the Department of Energy will convene "affected industries" and other stakeholders to "maximise the impact" of the tools available under this legislation.
The president says that while domestic solar production in the US is expected to triple to 22.5 GW by 2024, expansion must happen more quickly. The White House has also taken steps to stimulate demand for US-made solar panels by "harnessing the full power of federal procurement," introducing "green power" agreements, and developing a "green energy" strategy. The White House has also taken steps to stimulate demand for US-made PV panels by "harnessing the full power of federal procurement", introducing master supply agreements for US-made PV systems and adding "super preferences" for domestic content in federal procurement.
These measures are expected to involve the purchase of 10 GW of solar products over the next decade by the US government alone, and 100 GW if local governments and municipal utilities are added.
Editor's note: There is an imbalance between what is granted to installers, which is immediate and unconditional (unless this decision is challenged in court), and the vague measures in favour of US production: the public procurement appears to be very thin and provides little incentive for non-public actors to buy American.
This imbalance is worrying because the installers have won a battle, forcing the US President to reverse a reasonable decision. He will not be able to impose tariffs in the future and probably will not have advanced the industrialisation of PV production.
The winners are the Chinese who will have access to the US market without any economic or financial compensation. The US has lost its economic supremacy and will not catch up with the panel industry.
A grim decision!