anti-dumping tariffs that were much higher than expected. These duties amount to
around 31 percent on crystalline silicon solar panels imported from China. The
duties come in response to the Chinese government’s dumping of
solar panels below the cost of production.
Energy World, the DOC has set duties at 31.14 percent
for Trina, 31.22 percent for Suntech and 31.18 percent for other Chinese solar
manufacturers that chose to participate in the investigation. The companies that
chose not to participate were hit with a 250 percent tariff. The tariffs will be
retroactive and be applied to panels that were shipped from as far back as about
the middle of February 2012.
Some insiders are concerned that these duties will
adversely impact the growing American solar industry.They are likely to
make Chinese solar panels much more expensive. It is expected they will
add about $0.30 a watt to the price of a panel.
Chinese companies are expected to set up workarounds like tolling in
which they send panels through another country, or even set up remote
manufacturing facilities outside their country. Tolling is expected to add about
$0.06 to $0.08 per watt
The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE)believes the
overriding goal should be to make solar energy as competitive as possible. Steep
penalties on Chinese panels would inhibit the rate at which solar has been
growing in the American market. Lower costs have made solar more
appealing option to investors.
However, in the absence of duties, non-Chinese solar manufacturers would be pushed out and leave the world at the mercy of a virtual
Chinese monopoly. China could then dictate the price and
the type of solar technology that dominates the market.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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