A bid from renewables developer Invenergy to quickly pause the Trump administration’s abrupt resolution to reimpose tariffs on bifacial photo voltaic panels has been granted.
The Trump administration granted bifacial panels an exemption from broader U.S. photo voltaic import tariffs in June, partly due to its dedication that bifacial provide to the U.S. was “extremely restricted.” The choice was cheered by challenge builders keen to utilize a higher-efficiency expertise that is anticipated to make large inroads within the photo voltaic market within the years forward.
However in October, the administration reversed course on its exemption, giving the photo voltaic trade commerce coverage whiplash and prompting challenges to the choice. Some U.S. photo voltaic producers had opposed the exemption.
This week’s order is a provisional win for Invenergy, which filed a grievance quickly after alleging the U.S. Commerce Consultant’s turnaround was “unlawfully entered” as a result of it didn’t enable for discover or remark previous to pulling the exclusion. The Photo voltaic Power Industries Affiliation sided with Invenergy on the case.
In an e mail, Invenergy instructed GTM it was “happy with the order” and hoped for extra everlasting reduction.
The withdrawal, slated to take impact Friday, is now delayed till at the least November 21 or till a choose guidelines on Invenergy’s request for a everlasting injunction. The momentary order is also prolonged.
Whereas the way forward for the coverage stays hazy, Xiaojing Solar, a senior photo voltaic analyst at Wooden Mackenzie Energy & Renewables, mentioned the order “does sign the reversal of the exemption just isn’t rock strong.”
Photo voltaic squabbles
Regardless of SEIA’s stance, photo voltaic corporations are removed from unified on the exclusion for bifacial panels.
South Korea-based Hanwha Q Cells and First Photo voltaic, whose expertise has all the time been free from the tariffs, criticized the administration’s resolution to grant bifacial modules an exemption from the beginning.
“We comply with disagree with [Hanwha] on this,” John Smirnow, SEIA’s basic counsel and vice chairman of market technique, instructed Morning Seek the advice of this week.
Each First Photo voltaic and Hanwha opened factories within the U.S. within the wake of the Part 201 tariff resolution in January of 2018, which added duties to imported photo voltaic cells and modules. The 2 producers argue the exclusion undermines these commerce protections.
“Q Cells didn’t ask for the 201 tariffs, however we responded to them and constructed the biggest photo voltaic module manufacturing unit in America,” mentioned Scott Moskowitz, director of technique and market intelligence at Hanwha, in an e mail to GTM. “This exclusion clearly undermines that coverage and can hurt home producers like us, which is why it [was] withdrawn by USTR.”
SEIA and different corporations, nonetheless, disagree. When the administration granted the exclusion, Smirnow instructed GTM that it might bolster bifacial progress at a time when the expertise stays in a “comparatively early stage” of deployment.
Greater than supporting U.S.-based trade as Trump hoped, the administration’s fickle commerce insurance policies seem to have created cracks within the unity of the general photo voltaic trade.
Whereas quite a lot of photo voltaic producers, together with Hanwha, Jinko and LG, have invested in U.S. amenities due partly to the commerce restrictions, SEIA has fiercely lobbied in opposition to the tariffs.
Because the Trump administration and the photo voltaic trade quibble over the small print of tariffs, the Part 201 duties are busy stepping down. At present, they lower 5 % annually, dissolving altogether after 2022, although the administration is endeavor a midterm assessment of the duties and their schedule.