solar anti-dumping tariffs

Explaining Solar Anti-Dumping Tariffs

Here’s why Zenernet customers shouldn’t worry

Update 6/6: The Biden administration has announced that tariffs on solar components imported from the four countries in question will be suspended for 2 years. For more, read our new blog post.

If you’ve been thinking about going solar and doing some casual research, you might have run across articles on some solar industry websites with dire predictions about the effects of so-called anti-dumping tariffs. In this piece, we’ll briefly explain what’s going on, and why we don’t think you need to be concerned about this issue if you’re considering going solar with Zenernet.

We’ve touched on the topic of solar tariffs on our blog before. For several years, the U.S. government has had policies in place which make it more expensive to import solar panels and other components from China. The intent behind these tariffs is to promote construction of solar system components by U.S. manufacturers. In February, the Biden administration decided to extend the tariff on Chinese solar components at the existing rate, resulting in no immediate change to the affordability of going solar.

In late March, however, the Commerce Department announced it was beginning an “anti-dumping investigation” that could lead to additional import taxes being imposed on solar equipment from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. “Dumping” in this context is a term that refers to a company (or nation) exporting products well below their market value or the price charged in the domestic market in an attempt to muscle out competitors. The reason for the investigation is allegations that Chinese manufacturers may be circumventing the existing U.S. tariffs by setting up manufacturing facilities in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam and then “dumping” solar equipment into the market at prices that make it difficult for U.S. manufacturers to compete. Combined with the disruptions to solar supply chains over the past couple of years due to the pandemic, the possibility of new import tariffs has greatly concerned many in the solar industry, who argue that new tariffs will hold back solar power adoption in the U.S.

Although the debate over the investigation may be of academic interest, it shouldn’t be a cause for worry if you’ve been considering going solar with Zenernet. In our previous article about solar supply chain challenges, we explained how we had made the decision to reduce the number of options we usually offer for solar panels, inverters, and other equipment in order to secure our supply chain and guarantee homeowners that we could deliver the system we promised. We currently offer, and will continue to offer, panels and components that are manufactured outside of the countries that may be subject to additional import taxes. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, it should have no impact on prices or availability for Zenernet customers.

Beyond that, although we’re not going to wade into the debate over the investigation, we think it’s important to understand that both sides of the argument want to see solar in the U.S. grow and thrive. One side is concerned with ensuring that the U.S. develops a robust domestic solar manufacturing capability in the long term, while the other side is concerned about ensuring solar equipment is available cheaply enough to keep the strong momentum of solar adoption going for the immediate future. What both sides agree on, however, is that America needs a strong solar industry.

Hopefully this has reassured you if the doom-and-gloom about anti-dumping tariffs from some solar publications was unsettling. If you’re ready to move forward with finding out whether solar is right for you, schedule a convenient, no-pressure conversation with a Zenernet energy consultant today. And remember that the Zenernet blog is your source for the latest solar news explained in a way that actually shows the need-to-know takeaway with homeowners.

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