A new investigation into crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells may result in increased tariffs on solar panels imported into the United States.
Electrek.co reports that on May 25, the United States notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that on May 17 a safeguard investigation on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells had begun. Electrek reports that there is a “good chance” that any solar panels imported into the United States after September 22 will have a tariff added if it is decided by the US that solar panel imports have damaged the sales of domestic made solar panels.
The US International Trade Commission will rule whether or not Ameican solar panel manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld have suffered “serious injury” as a result of imported solar panel sales. Suniva have requested that President Trump set a four-year minimum import price on PV modules and cells of $0.78 per watt for modules and $0.40 for cells.
Any solar panels imported into the United States before the filing date of the silicon photovoltaic cells investigation should not be liable for any future taxation, but any panels imported after will be retroactively taxed if it is decided that foreign imports have damaged US sales. Solar panels already in the USA will most likely be sold to large-scale project developers that need low priced solar panels to meet aggressive pricing for their investor goals. The potential price increase’s price per watt will vary depending on the project size.
The potential price increase’s price per watt will vary depending on the project size. An approximate 40 percent cost increase for large-scale utility projects, a 30 percent increase for commercial projects, and around 20 percent increase for residential. The full investigation filing can be found here.