A stopped clock is correct twice daily
In this case I suppose Twitler is actually doing a good thing.
That doesn't change the fact that he's a fuckwit.
US President Donald Trump has signed an order to place a 30 per cent tariff on the import of parts used to build solar panels. The new charges, pitched on Monday by the White House as relief for domestic manufacturers, are instead being slammed by US solar industry groups as an effort to destroy the solar energy market in …
I'm not sure why the goal has to be to prop up coal.
Tariffs on government subsidized chinese panels being dumped here could be used to offset tax breaks to domestic panel production. (Much like what I believe Germany has been doing to protect its industrial base.) As if domestic production of PV panels could be spun up in any kind of useful timeframe.
If you couldn't connect the dots between tariffs offsetting tax breaks on domestic panel production, what do you suppose were the odds that Twitler could have made the connection.
Next to none is my guess.
So makes solar more viable for the rest of us
Except it isn't - you need a grid connection for when the sun don't shine.
Friends have a massive bank of panels that were calculated to supply enough power for the house and charge a room full of batteries because they are far from any power lines. They have always had to run a diesel generator to get any real work done.
OK, I detect the sarcasm, but
> So makes solar more viable for the rest of us
is a non sequitur.
Global warming does not mean more solar energy reaching any particular solar panel. The sun (we trust) will continue to shine next year just as it does today. There could be more clouds generated by warm seas, though, and the warm seas will fuel hurricanes that may rip the panels off roofs and solar farms, and the sea level will continue to rise, and so on. Global warming is not good. For anything. I reckon we can agree on that.
Chinese solar companies are engaged in subsidized dumping. A response is warranted and Trump has chosen to respond with tariffs. Strange that neither the words "subsidy" or "dumping" appear anywhere in the article.
Yes, this should have happened under Obama, but it did not. Good thing we have a president now that actually cares about his oath of office.
This has nothing to do with whether subsidizing panels is bad or good.
He just wants to create a domestic manufacturing and assembly of solar panels instead of importing parts and just assemble domestically or just shifting boxes from china. IMHO he is correct to protect his domestic workforce. Europeans should do the same. Because as of now, profits disappear in the pockets of a small number of greedy western bosses, a lot more Chinese bosses, a little bit to the Chinese workforce and another chunk to the Chinese government (through direct or indirect taxation). Chinese workers then spend that income again on Chinese consumer products as they usually don't buy Western manufactured goods (which are heavily taxed in China).
In the mean time our manufacturing workforce has sunk into poverty. Some jobs have been recovered with artificially created shitty jobs (mostly dubious servicing and unneeded administrative functions) with the result of massive burn-out and other stress related problems. Which further burden our society with medical costs and pushes people further and further into despair.
The problem here is that many greedy company-"leaders" need to take responsibility for the mess THEY created! And this is ONE step. Unfortunately this usually has an adverse effect as "leaders" seek ways to circumvent their responsibility instead of investing some of the money they earned back into society. People shouldn't target Trump because he wants to keep jobs locally. They should be happy that someone is at least trying to keep lower income jobs also domestic. Americans could help him too by only buying US-manufactured solar panels (and other consumer products).
In e.g. South Korea something like shouldn't even raise questions as the Korean government heavily taxes foreign products, heavily promotes (read: subsidises) domestic manufacturing and therefore Koreans buy Korean manufactured products. I doubt that there is much poverty and unemployment in South Korea.
"IMHO he is correct to protect his domestic workforce"
Abstractly, that is is correct.
However ... slapping a massive tariff on imported parts overnight doesn't achieve this. This firstly destroys the domestic installer market who can no longer install panels at an affordable price, quickly killing off the customer base.
This quickly destroys the market that the domestic manufacturing market needs to grow enough to achieve economies of scale and profitability.
Remember it will take time for the domestic manufactiring sector to respond and ramp up production.
neither the words "subsidy" or "dumping" appear anywhere
Sorry I don't understand why this is an issue; If the Chinese Govt wants to subsidise panels to the rest of the world how is that a bad thing? Just buy up the cheep Chinese panels and go hog wild installing em everywhere. One of two things happen; Either the Chinese government go broke or they don't; Either way we all get cheep panels.
Who exactly looses here? US manufacturers of solar panels? Are there a lot of those?
Still on the bright side; If US sales of imported solar panels drops, the reset of us might get an even bigger discount :)
@Long John Brass - Chinese subsidizing their solar panel industry does a couple of things. It allows the Chinese to sell below actual manufacturing costs thus undermining a local industry. Thus the victim country has a few choices: slap a tariff on Chinese panels, let the domestic industry whither, or subsidize the domestic industry. The least disruptive is probably a tariff if rebuilding the domestic industry is a priority.
let the domestic industry whither, or subsidise the domestic industry
Which is why the global price for solar panels cost/watt were at rock bottom and the glut in the global market for US manufactured solar panels was at epic levels....
Or just perhaps; As the Chinese manufacturing levels increased, that has driven down the cost/watt to a level where they are actually becoming a viable option for some domestic supply?
"...One of two things happen; Either the Chinese government go broke or they don't..."
First. Governments don't go broke. People do. Political leaders always have a better lifestyle than the rest of their population. Whether in China or in the US.
Secondly it's not is simple as that. The Chinese KNOW that greedy westerners buy their cheap subsidised panels so the subsidised money flows back into the government through sales tax, corporate (25%) and personal taxes (45%) and social security rates (48%). Many of these taxes are based on personal or company income and because these Chinese companies have higher revenues they pay more taxes and thus the subsidy turns into profit. As long as they keep exporting in vast quantities the Chinese government earns big bucks from panels installed in the USA and Europe.
If Trump manage to keep production (not just assembly) local. The US government gets more taxes through local sales tax (which they already have depending on state even with imported panels) but also with higher corporate taxes (as companies have more revenue) and with more people having jobs a higher income of personal income tax (which is the highest tax-rate in the US at almost 40%). Personal income tax in Europe is at +50% in most countries and corporate tax is mostly around (24%) so it's obviously better to keep unemployment as low as possible to generate as much "presonal income tax" as possible as this is a major income of governments.
"The Chinese KNOW that greedy westerners buy their cheap subsidised panels so the subsidised money flows back into the government through sales tax, corporate (25%) and personal taxes (45%) and social security rates (48%). Many of these taxes are based on personal or company income and because these Chinese companies have higher revenues they pay more taxes and thus the subsidy turns into profit."
All fine except for one little detail: if these panels are being dumped below cost it's gradually draining money out of the system.
If China is subsidizing solar cells, wouldn't the proper response be for the US government be to purchase as many as possible? We'd have a nice surplus of cheap solar cells ready for when China ends the subsidy. (Then quietly steal all the trade secrets from China and build them locally.)
It's because its a false narrative. China don't subsidise PV manufacture, they subsidise PV installations connected to their grid via a Feed In Tariff, just like the rest of the world. This has stimulated their PV panel construction industry to invest in more efficient production.
Here is an excellent article on the subject; basically US was the world leader in PV panel production, China invested huge amounts to satisfy their own demand (>50% of chinese made panels are not exported) and the US did not.
Their solution is tariffs, so that everything is more expensive for the consumer, and the inevitable total collapse of US PV exports as the rest of the world ignores them
USG are allowing a few [<3GW] of modules in , before the 30% duty is applied.
I think, and I may be wrong, that there's an energy revolution coming - based on cheap renewables with the offered December 2017 bid price (eventually not chosen) @KSA <1,8cts/KWh LCOE for a multi megawatt plant north of Riyadh. That is a staggering price = revolution!
BTW the sovereign US also imposed Tariffs on Washing Machines with the same PV act
"...wouldn't the proper response be for the US government be to purchase as many as possible..."
No. Because the US government would increase the revenue of Chinese companies who'd get taxed for corporate tax, and their workers would get income taxed, by the Chinese government thus US tax-money flows into the Chinese treasury. It's better to increase taxation of imported products and spend THAT money into local manufacturing of competing products thus subdising domestic products.
Then export those cheap US manufactured solar panels back into China....
"..Then quietly steal all the trade secrets from China and build them locally..."
I doubt China has many "trade secrets" since they "stole" it all from western countries.
With "stole" I don't literally mean that they sent spies to actually steal them (though this might have happened in a few occasions in the past). I mean that western companies "gave" the trade secrets to some Chinese manufacturer to let him/her set-up a manufacturing and assembly plant.
You know that the father o/t solar cell is a Frenchman. So what do the "French", or shall we say... Euro zone competitors, have to "steal"?
What you do t seem to understand is that if imported parts go up 30% then domestic parts will go up in price too as consumers now have no choice. Domestic manufacturers will be in a race to charge more as the price ceiling is now whatever the imported price is. Buy the import or the domestic with a flag sticker stating designed and made in the USA, if both are the same price people will buy yank. If the yank product is cheaper people will think it’s inferior to the Chinese model.
The losers will be the workers in the industry and their customers.
"The losers will be the workers in the industry and their customers."
And the winners will be all those people whose electricity prices are massively inflated by heavily subsidised 'renewable energy' and massively taxed fossil fuel.
Remember: Renewable energy is a massively expensive solution that doesn't work to a problem that doesn't exist.
Don't confuse reality with top class marketing.
> Remember: Renewable energy is a massively expensive solution that doesn't work to a problem that doesn't exist.
That is obviously coal and oil industry dogma and propaganda.
In this country most of our electricity comes from renewable hydro and geothermal power. It works fine and isn't as expensive as the small number of gas plants that we have. There are also some wind farms - built because they produce electricity much cheaper and the hydro can take over if the wind drops.
Chinese solar companies are manufacturing solar cells that are of obsolete design and whose total lifecycle energy cost is about equivalent to the total lifespan energy output. The environmental damage from the manufacturing process is huge.
By ensuring these Chinese cells are not dumped in the US it become much more viable for advanced technology (such as sliver cells) to be produced in the US. The environmental cost will be reduced, the TCO of solar installations will be reduced and the more advanced cells being produced will be far more energy positive that the imported ones.
Chinese solars cells are little more than frozen coal powered electricity and are not helping the environment one iota. By adding these tariffs the net effect is an improvement to the environment. Win, win, win.
Chinese solar companies are manufacturing solar cells that are of obsolete design
Not sure if it is design or just manufacturing methods, but it's a fact - a lot of them are down to ~ 20% in 4 years time which defeats the point of using them.
By adding these tariffs the net effect is an improvement to the environment. Win, win, win.
No. It is a "Trump Win(TM)" - half baked exec order with a Tw*tter level attention span. Same as the travel bans.
If the goal was to really kill the import of deliberately obsolete panels the tariff should have been 100%, bound to specific technological parameters and formulated so that let's say 70% are put into recycling escrow and only 30% are punitive.
China may be a convenient scapegoat, but this affects manufacturers around the world who might seek to sell to the USA. Including ours here in Blighty - and yes, we have at least one pure-play manufacturer of polysilicon wafers for the solar industry big enough to be FTSE-listed.
Is this what international trade under WTO rules looks like?
 Unless the article is misreporting.
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