Executives at solar energy companies in New Mexico say this week's decision by President Donald Trump to impose a tariff on imported solar cells will slow the installation of new systems and kill jobs in the state.
Trump campaigned on a promise to revive the ailing coal mining sector and boost USA production of other fossil fuels as a way to create jobs and bolster American influence overseas.
According to Goldman Sachs, the upshot is that solar demand in the USA could see a reduction of 5 percent this year, although a steeper drop off is possible if some projects are delayed into 2019. "So while a solar panel tariff will create some manufacturing jobs in the few hundreds, there are tens of thousands of jobs that will be lost because of the increase in the cost of solar panels". The first shows which nations lead in manufacturing of the most popular kind of solar panel-those comprised of crystalline silicon produced in furnace-like ovens and sliced into wafer-thin cells by diamond saws.
BNEF doesn't expect the tariffs to benefit USA manufacturers, partly because they only last a few years, according to Hugh Bromley, an analyst at the London-based research arm of Bloomberg LP.
She said that "only strong global trade with open markets provides growth, jobs and innovation".
Analysis provided to ThinkProgress by GTM Research concludes, "new and emerging state markets are disproportionately affected [by the new tariff], with southern states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, and SC amongst the most impacted by the tariffs".
Missouri's largest solar company's warehouse is full of materials proudly labeled with the red, white, and blue; Except for a 3 month supply of solar panels neatly stacked in the corner.
Trump acted Tuesday to impose new tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help US manufacturers. First, the panels themselves represent just a fraction of the overall cost of a solar project.
"The investment tax credit for solar is 30 percent of capex [capital expenditure]", Amy Grace, head of North American research for BNEF, explained - so 30 percent of any tariff-driven price increase gets paid back through the tax code.
A spokesman said the administration would "always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers and businessmen".
"The rooftop sector of the industry will lose jobs like installers and utility programs will lose investors because the time it takes for costs to payback will be doubled", Crystal said. "This is a step forward for this high-tech solar manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America".
No, but some projects will feel the impact more than others.
We also note that the real impact of the Solar Tariff may be blunted by steps already taken by developers, contractors and investors in the second half of 2017.
They install 2 different brands of panels, some are from the United States, and some are not. "It is a very big industry and we are going to have a lot of plants built here in the United States", he said after signing legislation.