Opinion: WEF president: How the world can rebuild cooperation


The industry is already in a panic. A current report by the Solar Energy Industries Association discovered that 83% of US firms surveyed that use or buy solar panels predict cancellations or delays. And some CEOs fear the investigation may trigger the industry to collapse — not solely shocking given how closely the US depends on these international locations for solar panel supplies.
Indeed, about 80% of all solar panels put in in the US are imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This reliance on different international locations leaves the US weak to continued world supply disruptions for a vital product that may assist speed up the US transition to a clear vitality economic system.
Solar energy is the fastest-growing vitality supply in the US, and presumably the nation’s finest hope for reaching its local weather targets. By decreasing demand for fossil fuels, solar can assist to strengthen the economic system by offering a steady supply of vitality from the solar slightly than be topic to the limitations of drilling rigs, quickly rising fossil fuel costs and imports from governments that don’t share US values.
A current report by the US Department of Energy discovered that solar vitality has the potential to energy as a lot as 40% of the nation’s electrical energy by 2035. And in accordance to Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, “…Solar, our cheapest and fastest-growing source of clean energy, could produce enough electricity to power all of the homes in the U.S. by 2035 and employ as many as 1.5 million people in the process.” Access to solar is significantly necessary for low-income households who’re least ready to afford rising dwelling vitality costs and are much less doubtless to have mills or different backups techniques when the energy goes down.
Opinion: WEF president: How the world can rebuild cooperationOpinion: WEF president: How the world can rebuild cooperation
To meet the nation’s clear vitality targets, the US should develop a strong manufacturing functionality to produce solar vitality panels and parts. It can try this by offering monetary incentives to US producers to assist offset greater home manufacturing prices, which have been estimated to be 30% to 40% greater than imports.
Congress is already shifting on this course. For instance, the House-passed Build Back Better bill would prolong and increase the funding tax credit score and the manufacturing tax credit score to encourage the manufacturing of solar panels. The tax credits ought to scale back total manufacturing prices, enhance manufacturing effectivity, construct manufacturing capability and supply ongoing manufacturing help.

These are necessary as a result of they sign a long-term dedication to the progress of solar vitality in the US and to American manufacturing. And they offer solar traders the confidence they want to finance solar panel manufacturing services. In addition, the Commerce Department ought to transfer rapidly to full its investigation to give the solar industry certainty on pricing for imports till Congress agrees to a longer-term answer.

Congress nonetheless has time to act, however it’s operating quick. Lawmakers ought to agree to passage of the tax credit earlier than the session ends. The nation’s clear vitality targets are hanging in the steadiness.