Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Solar Energy or Jobs But Not Both In US

From The New York Times, "U.S. to Place Tariffs on Solar Panels From China" by Keith Bradsher And Matthew L Wald:
The Commerce Department has decided to impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after concluding that the Chinese government provided illegal export subsidies to manufacturers there.
Cheaper prices for solar cells means more companies and people will use than as an energy source. A tariff will raise the price of the cheaper imported solar energy cells and slow down the adoption of solar power in the US. More solar power installations will increase the need for local labor to install, repair and maintain the cells, but it will not increase US based manufacturing jobs.

At the same time, imports decrease the need for US based solar cell production facilities. The US is non-competitive in the solar field even with the large consumer and green energy investment subsidies the US currently provides.

So, is the US government for solar power, or is it just a political ruse to impose tariffs and start a trade war with China? The only loser is the US consumer who due to all sorts of tariffs pays more for goods than foreign producers are willing to sell them for in the US. Tariffs only decrease the purchasing power of the US consumer. The tariffs affect consumers the same way that taxes or higher prices affect them. Tariffs reduce consumers' purchasing power.

1 comment :

  1. The Energy Act decreased the regulation of utility companies and allowed competition to drive the build in the alternative energy field on a state-by-state basis here in the U.S.