June 26, 2022

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Opinion: The US solar panel industry is on the verge of collapse. Here’s how to prevent it

Last look: The green transition will trigger a new race for natural resources
The industry is already in a panic. A recent report from the Solar Energy Industry Association found that 83% of US companies have either used or purchased them Solar Panels They expect cancellations or delays. Some CEOs worry about Investigation It could cause the industry to collapse — not entirely surprising given how heavily the United States relies on these countries for solar panel materials.
In fact, about 80% of everyone Solar Panels Installed in the US it is imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This dependence on other countries leaves the United States vulnerable to global persistence supply interruption An essential product that could help accelerate the United States’ transition to a clean energy economy.
Solar energy It is the fastest growing energy source in the United States, and perhaps the nation’s best hope for achieving its climate goals. By reducing the demand for fossil fuels, solar energy can help boost the economy by providing a constant source of energy from the sun rather than being subject to the limitations of drilling rigs, which are rapidly rising Fossil fuels Prices and imports from governments that do not share American values.
recent report by US Department of Energy found that solar energy has the potential to power up to 40% of the country’s electricity by 2035. According to Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm, “…solar energy, the cheapest and fastest growing source of clean energy, can produce enough electricity to power all homes in the United States by 2035 and employing up to 1.5 million people in the process.” Access to solar energy is especially important for lower-income families who are less able to afford higher home energy prices and less likely to own generators or other backup systems when the power goes out.
To meet the nation’s clean energy goals, the United States must develop a strong manufacturing capacity to produce solar panels and components. It can do this by providing financial incentives to US manufacturers to help offset higher domestic production costs, which have been estimated at 30%-40% more than imports.
Congress is already moving in this direction. For example, the House Rebuild the best invoice It will expand and expand the investment tax credit and the production tax credit to encourage solar panel production. The tax credits It should reduce overall production costs, increase manufacturing efficiency, build production capacity and provide continuous production assistance.

These are important because they indicate a long-term commitment to US solar growth and US manufacturing. They give solar investors the confidence they need to finance solar panel production facilities. In addition, the Commerce Department must move quickly to complete its investigation to give the solar industry certainty about import pricing until Congress approves a long-term solution.

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Congress still has time to act, but it’s running out. Lawmakers must agree to pass the tax breaks before the session ends. The nation’s clean energy goals hang in the balance.