What Trump's Solar Tariffs Mean For Texas

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The market impact from new solar tariffs announced earlier this week is shaping up to be less severe than it could have been.

Which, in turn, means less energy independence. But the wider solar industry, which depends on price-competitive cells as a basic component, supports some 260,000 U.S.jobs. It also ranks fourth in solar jobs per capita, behind Massachusetts, Nevada and Vermont. Tariffs inflate prices and invite retaliation, hurting successful export businesses. For years now, American solar companies have largely thrived on ever-cheaper imported solar panels, so this will be a blow, not a boon, to the sector as a whole and could cost United States taxpayers $400 million, as Quartz has reported. At some points, the leading solar trade group said it might be 80,000 or more jobs lost.

The combination of the affordable solar cell imports and the ingenuity and efficiency of US installers has resulted in a vibrant and growing domestic industry, providing 260,000 well-paying jobs. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), this move would cause the loss of some 23,000 American jobs in 2018 alone. That, in turn, could lead to a slowdown in deploying new solar systems.

He and other Democratic and Republican senators who signed the letter, including GOP Sen.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., wasn't happy about President Donald Trump authorizing tariffs on solar energy cells and panels. This decision hurts more than jobs, too.

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Baboons preen each other at the Paris Zoological Park in the Bois de Vincennes in the east of Paris, France, October 23, 1995. A Paris zoo was evacuated Friday after 52 baboons escaped from their enclosure, sending waves of panic throughout the park.

It may be a tough call for some, but not for libertarians, who believe competition - from other countries or within our borders - is best in the long run for the US consumer.

Some state markets will weather the downturn better than most, but the southern portion of the U.S.is expected to take the biggest hit. Large-scale solar farms have popped up across the state, and just last week, a South Korean energy company broke ground in Pecos County on what will become the largest solar project in Texas. Many of those jobs are in the installation process. The sting of the tariffs is softened further by the exemption from additional duties for the first 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels that are imported each year. Their case at the World Trade Organization will also be a layup, allowing legal retaliation against USA exports. They also will damage a thriving industry (although contrarian Noah Smith, writing in Bloomberg, believes the solar revolution is happening so fast that costs will decrease enough to offset tariffs). This approach would wage war not on China but on unclean energy.

As the federal government does the wrong thing, states can act, including New Mexico.

In some major markets, such as California, bringing large amounts of solar generation online is depressing wholesale electricity market prices, which erodes the value of the electricity that these systems produce. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, has filed legislation this session, Senate Bill 79, to restore the credit for 10 percent of the total cost of materials and installation with a $9,000 cap. It needs to be passed.

Pound tells Inside INdiana Business uncertainty in solar is nothing new.