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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 25, 2017

Solar industry roiled by trade ruling that some fear could lead to tariffs

By Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2017-09-23 07:34:55

The U.S. solar industry was roiled on Friday by a unanimous ruling in a much watched international trade case — one that some industry leaders fear could lead to steep new tariffs on imported crystalline silicon solar cells. The bankrupt Georgia-based solar company Suniva joined forces with Oregon-based SolarWorld Americas to petition the U.S. International Trade Commission for relief earlier this year, saying that the U.S. solar industry “simply cannot survive” at a time when foreign imports of solar cells “have unexpectedly exploded and prices have collapsed.” [ read more … ]

Creating Test for Trump, Panel Says Imported Solar Gear Hurts U.S. Firms

By DIANE CARDWELL and ANA SWANSON, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-09-23 07:43:07

A flood of imported solar equipment has seriously hurt American companies, the International Trade Commission ruled on Friday, setting up a major test of President Trump’s willingness to use the protectionist measures he endorsed during the campaign. The commission will now devise a course of action to recommend to Mr. Trump by Nov. 13. Its recommendations — which the president will have broad leeway to accept, amend or reject — could include establishing tariffs or minimum prices on imported solar equipment. [ read more … ]

President Trump wants protectionist measures against Chinese solar power. That’s going to hurt U.S. firms.

By Jonas Meckling and Llewelyn Hughes, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2017-09-25 04:32:38

The decision to grant relief to domestic manufacturers will hamper climate mitigation. It also ignores the fact that many U.S. firms benefit from participating in global supply chains that govern the production of solar panels. The U.S. government — like other governments — is making trade policy on the basis of outdated assumptions about how products are made. [ read more … ]

Imposing Solar Tariffs May Cost U.S. Taxpayers $1.23 Billion

By Chris Martin, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-09-25 04:33:29

Imposing tariffs on solar components imported into the U.S. will drive up prices for solar developers. It could also cost U.S. taxpayers as much as $1.23 billion. The U.S. offers incentives to encourage people to use clean energy, paying owners of solar-power systems a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the total installation costs. More expensive panels leads to higher costs, and that means taxpayers could be on the hook for about $1.23 billion more, according to an estimate from Cowen & Co. analyst Jeffrey Osborne. [ read more … ]

China used ‘chaos’ and lots of cash to dominate renewable energy competitors

John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-09-23 07:47:42

China has spent or loaned $30 billion to $40 billion to establish its current position as the world’s leader in both solar and wind turbine technologies, according to the author of a groundbreaking new study. Jonas Nahm, a political scientist who teaches energy and environmental policy at Johns Hopkins University, says his interviews with more than 100 executives in China’s fast-growing renewable energy companies show national and local support went far beyond research and development programs typically used by other nations. [ read more … ]

Trade panel puts solar tariff decision in Trump’s hands

By ERIC WOLFF, Politico  •    •  Posted 2017-09-25 04:34:10

The issue will give Trump the opportunity to erect trade barriers he has hailed as key to his strategy to revive domestic manufacturing, and at the same time hit the Chinese companies that have largely evaded previous U.S. import penalties to become the leading suppliers of solar cells and panels. Administration officials say the trade case hasn’t been a central one for the president, but they are increasingly confident Trump will favor tariffs when the commission sends the White House its recommendations in the next couple of months. [ read more … ]

Solar Tariff Case Advances as ITC Finds ‘Injury’

By Lacey Johnson, Julia Pyper, Greentech Media  •    •  Posted 2017-09-25 04:34:47

The threat of solar tariffs moved one step closer to reality on Friday when U.S. trade commissioners unanimously agreed that imported solar equipment has caused “serious injury” to domestic manufacturers. The vote handed a victory to Suniva and SolarWorld, which filed a rare petition under Section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act, arguing that cheap solar imports have made it impossible for them to compete. [ read more … ]

SolarCity to Pay $29.5 Million to Resolve U.S. Government Allegations

By Susan Heavey, Sarah N. Lynch and Joe White, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2017-09-25 04:35:49

SolarCity will pay $29.5 million to settle a long-running investigation into allegations it violated federal law by submitting inflated claims to the government through a popular stimulus program set up during the Obama administration, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday. The department said there was no determination of liability as part of the settlement with SolarCity, now owned by Tesla Inc, and that the company would also drop related litigation against the government. [ read more … ]

For Wind Energy Advocates, Jose Highlights Region’s Potential

By John Bender, Rhode Island Public Radio  •    •  Posted 2017-09-25 04:36:34

New Englanders largely missed the brunt of Tropical Storm Jose. It’s moved miles off the coast of Massachusetts and is expected to weaken in those waters. Wind energy advocates say Jose’s path to New England illustrates the ideal location for wind turbines. Within 20 miles of Cape Cod, there is a 1,000 square-mile area where winds from a northern jet stream converge with the Gulf Stream. Wind energy advocate Paul Vigeant of the New Bedford Wind Energy Center says that results in a powerful wind field, which blows consistently all year long. [ read more … ]

Wind energy and public power ownership bring out strong opinions at Nebraska Capitol

BY Cole Epley, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted 2017-09-23 04:20:56

Tim Burke, president and chief executive of OPPD, detailed on Friday public power’s role in attracting new business and expansion projects to the state, in part because of what he said were low rates. Among the projects lured: a massive Sarpy County data center project to be built by Facebook, which seized on a new rate structure OPPD developed that allows the social media company to completely supply its energy needs with renewable energy from wind. [ read more … ]

API chief Gerard on climate ‘challenge,’ being a father of 8

Kellie Lunney, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-09-25 04:39:30

“If you step back just across the last two or three decades, the United States was really operating under a broader vision of scarcity, that our resources were finite, that they were running out, so we needed to figure out a broader-term energy policy. We were focused on things like importation of natural gas, and now, today, we see a very fundamental shift that’s just occurred in the past six, seven years.” [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.