President Biden rages over Asian solar panel investigation

WASHINGTON — A Commerce Department investigation into whether Southeast Asian solar makers are circumventing U.S. trade law threatens to shut down U.S. solar development, solar power developers and energy companies say ‘electricity.

The Biden administration opened an investigation on Monday into claims by a California solar panel maker that competitors in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were secretly shipping panels made in China, to avoid US tariffs on solar panels. Chinese products.

If the investigation were to show that the solar panels from these countries were in fact made in China, the solar panels from these countries, which account for about 80% of the market here, would be subject to customs duties. This risks putting many projects in development on hold, said Heather Zichal, a former Obama administration official and now president of the American Clean Power Association.

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“The Commerce Department’s decision today signals that the Biden administration’s rhetoric on supporting solar power is empty rhetoric,” she said. “If its commitment to a clean energy future is real, the administration will immediately reverse this decision. American solar workers and the clean energy community are watching and remembering.”

The Biden administration has set a goal to rapidly increase the country’s solar power generation in an effort to combat climate change, while also expanding solar panel manufacturing here.

But right now, developers rely heavily on cheap solar panels from Asia to make their projects viable, presenting the Biden administration with a conundrum of how to cut emissions while protecting jobs. Americans.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimond said, “We are positioning American workers and businesses to succeed in the 21st century. And all Americans, especially those who have been historically excluded, will share in our prosperity.

In Congress, members of both parties have called for tax incentives to expand solar manufacturing in the United States. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, DR.I., suggested the Commerce Department investigation may well serve as a catalyst for passing legislation.

“I hope my colleagues see this decision as a reason to redouble our efforts to pass important climate legislation that accelerates the US renewable energy market and creates more well-paying domestic jobs,” he told Reuters. Politico.

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