Posting in Cities
A coalition of U.S. solar installers has pitted itself against domestic manufacturers that claim China is unfairly subsidizing its exports.
Solidarity eludes the U.S. solar power industry as a union of solar installers has rallied against domestic manufacturers in their trade tussle against China.
A group calling itself Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) is countering a SolarWorld led group’s request that the Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission investigate China for unfairly subsidizing its solar industry.
The complainants say that China is giving its domestic producers an unfair advantage through an illicit combination of cash grants, sweetheart loans, and tax incentives, in addition to currency manipulation and markdowns on raw materials. SolarWorld has corralled together seven U.S. manufacturers of solar cells.
The SolarWorld led group notes that seven U.S. manufacturers (most famously Solyndra) has shut down operations during the past 18 months as the volume of Chinese imports has surged. Others see that as an upside.
CASE contends that global competition is making solar energy more affordable, and that any protectionist action to block Chinese imports harms both the solar industry and its customers. Photovoltaic installations in China are on track to match the capacity of U.S. installations this year.
“There's been overwhelming opposition throughout the U.S. solar industry to SolarWorld's short-sighted trade petition. The vast majority of the existing 100,000 jobs in the solar industry are in sales, marketing, design, installation, and maintenance,” Jigar Shah, co-founder and Chairman of CASE and head of the Carbon War Room and founder of Sun Edison, said in a statement today.
“These jobs depend on affordably priced solar panels and companies would have to lay-off workers if panel prices rose as a result of this petition. We urge policymakers to find a resolution to this petition in a manner that preserves the U.S. solar industry and solar investments.”
CASE’s membership includes Alpine Solar Energy, American Solar Systems, Solar City, SunEdison, and Westinghouse Solar.
Related on SmartPlanet:
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- Obama administration digs into China’s rare earth monopoly
- Uncle Sam orders military to only buy American
- Politicians grapple over U.S’s ability to compete in renewables
- U.S. solar manufacturers take aim against Chinese imports
Nov 8, 2011
My suggestion, quit whining and figure out a way to get us more capacity as cheap OR cheaper than China. Sure there are jobs that do nothing more than whine to the congress. You bring up Solyndra. Are you kidding? That panel was a lost peice of crap from the start. Most of us can figure out that a cylindrical panel vs a flat panel for capacity when the sq area to the light is more will work better! The Gov couldn't. Imagine if that money was "given" as it was, to small business, i.e. local solar installers, would we not have more jobs? Would we not take stress off our polluting plants? we are not exporting panels to China. They are exporting to us. I'm sure it's at a bargain. Sometimes, when you are down, you need to do what you can to get going. It may cost a bit more but in the end it serves us well. As well. CASE is asking for what? Subsidies?lol
With Obama in charge, how can we get more competitive with anybody? Look at the waste we have with Sylondra. Where the money go? to India?
"figure out a way"??? That's easy. Subsidize U.S. industry the way that the Chinese subsidize their industry. What? Our budget can't handle it? Between currency manipulation and government/industry partnerships, the Chinese are not playing fair, and that makes CASE, if you'll pardon my vulgarity, nothing but a bunch of prostitutes that consider profit above all else. U.S. made products are nearly always better quality than the cheap junk foisted upon us by the Chinese, and that makes them worth a bit more money. Until companies and consumers realize this, though, we'll be sending more and more wealth, as well as jobs, across the Pacific. CASE is not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.
I am afraid you are wrong! We are barking on the wrong tree. As far as I know, we subsidize more than Chinese counterparts. The issue is money! Look at the fact, the difference between the our and chinese made panel is quite small for panels installed on our property. Majority is the profit of installer and manufacturers. The fact for a 2KW system costs about $15K and the panel cost differnce is about $2K max. With the volume that chinese build panels, I would expect a lot more as what people stiplated. If the same system install in China, I was told would be somewhat in $4K range. Please tell me where is the problem!