WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the Biden Administration announced its decision to partially extend Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels while making bifacial panels exempt and doubling the amount of solar cells that can be imported. News of the decision comes after U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) led a bipartisan group of senators in urging President Biden against extending the harmful solar tariffs and asking the Administration to exclude bifacial panels if tariffs were extended.
Las Vegas Sun: Biden extends solar tariffs but eases restrictions
- Opponents have argued the tariff is harmful to America’s clean energy economy by hindering domestic solar projects and increasing costs, while failing to incentivize domestic manufacturing.
- As a result of the tariff, domestic prices for solar panels are some of the highest in the world, and clean energy jobs in the U.S. have decreased, U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., said.
- A bipartisan group of senators led by Rosen urged Biden to end the tariffs. They were successful in advocating that bifacial panels, which produce solar energy from both sides of the panel and are common in large-scale projects, be exempt from the tariff.
- Biden also doubled the amount of solar cells that can be imported into the U.S. tariff-free from 2.5 to 5 gigawatts.
- Rosen said the U.S. should be making forward-thinking investments in domestic solar manufacturing and provide long-term federal support for the industry. “The overall decision to extend these harmful tariffs is disappointing and remains the wrong approach,” she said in a statement.
Nevada Current: Biden extension of Trump tariffs dismays Nevada solar industry
- “In Nevada there are thousands of jobs in the solar industry that come from building, maintaining, and operating these plants,” said De Rosa. “Until we get that diversified supply, we need to have a stable, predictable source of panels so those thousands of jobs can be created.”
- Solar development in Nevada has also benefited marginalized workers, said De Rosa, including members of the Moapa Band of Paiutes. “The majority of the construction workers on that site are tribal members,” said De Rosa.
- Nevada U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen called Biden’s decision to extend solar tariffs “disappointing.” Rosen, in a statement, said tariffs were the “wrong approach” arguing they “will harm America’s clean energy economy by unnecessarily hindering domestic solar projects and raising costs, while failing to incentivize domestic manufacturing.”
- Last month, Rosen led a bipartisan group of senators to urge Biden not to extend tariffs on imported solar panels and cells. While the administration did ultimately choose to continue some tariffs they did exclude bifacial panels, a partial concession.
- Rosen said she would “continue working to strengthen solar industry jobs in Nevada and across the country by boosting American manufacturing and fighting to end these misguided solar tariffs, including through legislation.”
- The Biden administration will extend the Section 201 tariffs, which cover cells and solar panels, another four years rather than allow them to expire Sunday, according to the White House announcement.
- However, the extension will exempt bifacial solar panels, double-sided panels that are typically used in larger utility installations. It will also increase the capacity of solar cells that can be imported duty-free from 2.5 gigawatts to 5.
- The announcement comes about two weeks after Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) led eight senators in asking Biden not to extend the tariffs. The letter from the lawmakers asked Biden to “at minimum” incorporate the bifacial panel exemption if the administration extended the tariffs.
Associated Press: Biden extends Trump-era solar tariffs, but loosens some
- Opposing that view was Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., whose state has the most solar jobs per capita in the country.
- While she appreciates Biden’s decision to exclude bifacial panels, “the overall decision to extend these harmful tariffs is disappointing and remains the wrong approach,” Rosen said.
- Tariffs “harm America’s clean energy economy by unnecessarily hindering domestic solar projects and raising costs, while failing to incentivize domestic manufacturing,”[Rosen] said, vowing to fight solar tariffs “including through legislation.”