SunPower plans to stop USA expansion due to Trump tariff

Alicia Cross
January 28, 2018

The American solar industry is shaking its head after President Donald Trump placed a tariff on solar imports. That's a huge deal, because residential and commercial solar are the company's most profitable segments, and they're concentrated in the U.S.

That's according to Eugene Wilke with Now!

In 2017, though First Solar didn't have an edge over silicon-based solar panels, there was a perceived advantage from both rivals and developers.

While this tariff is clearly intended to help solar manufacturers, but that doesn't mean it's a blessing to the entire solar industry.

While SunPower is based in San Jose, Calif., the majority of its solar technologies are manufactured in the Philippines and Mexico.

It's tough to say what impact this tariff will have on the solar industry in the long term.

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The tariff was seen as a major blow for America's $28 billion solar industry, which gets about 80 percent of its solar panel products from imports. "I thought, What have we done?" It's possible the company could persuade the administration if it began building a plant in the USA, but it's also possible SunPower will have to deal with tariffs as they're outlined today.

In Massachusetts, meanwhile, the administration's policy could threaten 2,000 of the state's 15,000 solar energy positions, Markey said. "My remaining market are those on higher end of the spectrum of the middle class".

"On our large utility scale systems, we are installing at less than gas, oil, or coal can ever dream of", he said. My optimism stems from the fact that the cost of solar has plunged more than 60 percent in the past seven years.

Which, in turn, means less energy independence.

"In this case, it really did not start with him", Gore reportedly said. "One of the things I was surprised to understand is how much the USA spends on protecting oil getting to our shores".

Early in the plant renovation process, "when I first saw that empty factory floor, my heart sank", Chief Executive Officer Mark Widmar recalls. "That ability to own your own energy is phenomenal for a homeowner". But there may be a path to tariff-free imports if the Trump administration allows it.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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