U.S. Tariff Case Could Jeopardize 100,000 Solar Jobs, States SEIA Analysis

Solar installation forecasts for 2022 and 2023 are being cut by 46% due to the Biden Administration’s circumvention case against solar imports from Southeast Asia. According to a new analysis by the Solar Energy Industries Association, (SEIA), this case will result in a drop off of 24 GW in planned solar capacity over two years. This is more than the industry has installed in all of 2021.

“If tariffs are imposed, in the blink of an eye we’re going to lose 100,000 American solar workers and any hope of reaching the President’s clean energy goals,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “This would be a monumental loss for our nation, which has the potential to lead our clean energy future, with the right policies. Instead, the Commerce Department is on track to wipe out nearly half of all solar jobs and force a surrender on the President’s climate goals.”

The United States will lose solar deployment, causing it to emit 364 million metric tonnes more carbon by 2035. This is a missed opportunity to take 78 million internal combustion engines off the road.

SEIA also conducted a survey to collect project-level data as well as the impact felt by companies.

A total of 318 projects, which account for 51 GW of solar power and 6 GWh attached battery storage, are being cancelled/delayed. Private investment in excess of $52 billion is at risk. 70% of respondents to the survey report that at least half of their solar and storage workforce are at risk, and more than 200 companies report that their entire workforce may be at risk.

“This case is destroying clean energy, and needlessly taking down American businesses and workers in its wake,” adds Hopper. “It’s unfathomable that the President would allow his own administration’s actions to be the downfall of his clean energy vision.”

The gap to reaching President Biden’s clean energy goal has never been larger. By 2025, imposition of tariffs will cause solar capacity to fall 75 GW short of the pace needed to reach the president’s goal, equal to the size of the entire U.S. solar market prior to 2020.