Jeff Clark, President of the Advanced Power Alliance, released the following statement on the Biden Administration’s decision to initiate a new circumvention case that could lead to new tariffs on solar panels and photovoltaic cells assembled by trading partners in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam:
“The heartbreaking events in Ukraine over the last month have showcased a reality that we have always known, but occasionally forget: We live in a dangerous world where energy is vital to our survival and prosperity, and where energy is used as a weapon by our adversaries. The Biden Administration’s decision to initiate a new circumvention case to consider new tariffs on solar equipment is a setback to American energy independence, to our efforts to bring affordable low-emission power to consumers, and to our efforts to provide the world with the energy resources they urgently need today.
“American consumers, and our allies around the globe, need access to abundant and affordable energy resources, and it is essential that American energy production of all kinds ramp to meet this demand. To wean democracies from energy resources controlled by hostile regimes, we must make alternative energy supplies available to them quickly.
“We have long advocated a complementary ‘all of the above’ approach to energy development because we know that every energy resource can play a role in this effort. Every electron, drop of oil, or molecule of hydrogen or natural gas produced works together to meet demand. New power generation technologies can play an important role by serving load, and by freeing up America’s exportable resources – like oil and natural gas – to serve global markets.
“This is advantageous to our allies, enhances our own national security and energy independence, and provides an economic opportunity for our country’s energy producers. That is why it is breathtaking and disappointing that the Biden Administration has harmed our expanding energy production by considering the imposition of 50% to 250% tariffs on the solar industry in the United States. If pursued, this shortsighted decision would devastate new investment in solar power.
“It would harm American investors who have committed resources to solar development. It would harm American workers whose livelihoods rely on working to building out our expanding advanced power economy. It would increase costs to American consumers who will be denied the affordable electricity that solar provides, and particularly harm our commercial and industrial customers for whom affordable power provides a market advantage. Indeed, in our oil and gas producing regions, we are seeing how solar and other renewable power can reduce costs for traditional energy producers, and power emission-reducing technologies like carbon capture.
“These tariffs won’t help American energy production or energy workers. They will set back our nation’s efforts to achieve energy independence. Additional tariffs could cost the United States 70,000 jobs, including 11,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector. Wood McKenzie has estimated that these new tariffs could gut planned solar deployment by 16 GW of capacity annually, equivalent to 2/3 of last year’s installations.
“Already, uncertainty injected into the marketplace by the decision to open this investigation is impacting existing projects and power agreements. Delay has costs, and the impact of potential new tariffs on projects costs – combined with global supply chain challenges – is causing many project developers to rethink their plans, cancel their projects, or to renegotiate their long-term power offtake agreements.
“Uncertainty is the enemy of any business and that is why the Advanced Power Alliance calls on the Biden Administration to quickly end this investigation and keep clean energy investment moving forward. At this moment in history, the world is relying on American energy production of all types to respond quickly and assertively to global threats. This goal is too important to become bogged down in politics and commercial gamesmanship. It’s time to end this investigation and let America’s energy producers get to work.”