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.
Maybe Trump really did this to protect nearly non-existent US solar panel manufacturing, but more likely he did it at the behest of his coal buddies who are upset that wind and solar are becoming price competitive with coal (and natural gas is much cheaper) It would be in line with other things his administration has done to help out that dying industry like relax the rules that try to prevent coal ash spill disasters like the one in North Carolina a couple years ago.
However, panel prices are only about a third of the cost of utility scale PV installations, so a 30% tariff will only raise the price of utility scale installs by 10% - turn the clock back a few years at most. It would have even less effect on the total price of residential installs, where the relatively larger labor component means panel prices are even less of the total cost.
It would save money for the US overall to quit trying to protect the dying coal industry, and simply pay a pension to those who have been working in the mines for so long they are too old to retrain, and retrain the rest who knew going in working in the coal mines wouldn't be something they'd still be doing at retirement age. Also offer some federal economic incentives for businesses to relocate to coal country like West Virginia to diversify their economies.
You're right: it's tokenism. Nothing will save coal as long as shale production is so cheap. But the fuckwits in the Appalachians are too dumb to realise this and will continue to think he's "on their side". Trump wants right-wingers to win the primaries in the run up to the mid-terms so he has a House full of single-issue loons.
If only we had a Prime Minister who did was he said like Trump. America first means America first.
Build those pannels in America using American workers and there is no problem, use cheap third world labour to construct them and face a tariff.
Of course the liberal screeching autistic left will use anything to try and score points against him but look at the facts - the economy is booming, jobs are flying back into America from overseas and he's even brought the democrats to heel over the government shutdown.
By the way, if anyone wants to win some easy money, when the fake news and fake polls have Trump with no chance to win in the next US Presidential election put your house on it. He's an absolute certainty.
Of course the liberal screeching autistic left will use anything to try and score points against him
If anybody is ADHD, it is the Orange Baboon. It is possible to nudge a economy in a particular direction by applying tariffs. It, however requires a combination of stick (tariffs), carrot (manufacturing subsidies) which are specifically formulated so that they do not violate the law.
It is not difficult. All that was needed was to specifically target types of panels known for their timed obsolescence and do it on environmental grounds. Do not even frame that as tariff - make it "environmental protection tax" - for recycling purposes.
Unfortunately, this kind of stuff requires non-toddler levels of thought and does not fit into an immediate gratification mindset. So rather unsurprisingly we do not see it.
If only we had a Prime Minister - You mean our our own immediate gratification Kipling reciting hair disorganized dolt of Turkish immigrant origin. No thanks. Him becoming prime minister? Most of us are not keen on the country being run like "We Got Old News For You". It gets unfunny after a while.
You were doing so well up to the "Turkish immigrant" part of your comment.
If you are going to quote the FULL likeness of "The Beloved Quasi-Idiot" versus his transatlantic counterpart you need to emphasize on the key detail. THEY ARE BOTH DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF IMMIGRANTS. The sole difference is that while Scotland MPs have apologized in the house of Commons for gifting the world with a Donald, Erdogan is yet to do so (it's a fact - it takes a big P stick to make him say the S word)
It is quite entertaining to listen to their anti-immigration rhetoric. Both of them. Shouldn't he be threatening us with "My compatriots will come, flood the country and take your jobs" if he is really honest about it (I am referring to Boris talking about Turkey joining the Eu in the run-up to BrExit).
Additionally, in the specific case of our dear Kipling quoting Turkish Empire bureaucrat descendant, I suggest you look up the meaning of Rayah. Yep, that's you and me as far as he is concerned and it shows.
"If anybody is ADHD, it is the Orange Baboon".
Really, and what qualifies YOU to make that diagnosis? An over inflated view of your own pompous and self righteous opinions?
"Most of us are not keen on the country being run like "We Got Old News For You". It gets unfunny after a while."
Perhaps you missed it but we had a vote on your liberal EU utopia, most of were not keen on the country being ran by the pseudo marxist cabal of the EU. Do keep up, or feel free to move. I hear Sweden is wonderful (rape capital of the western world).
I wonder if the decreasing coal exports had anything to do with this. With the US exports of coal decreasing each year due to cheaper alternatives and renewable sources of energy, it does make one wonder.
Naturally this is all a brain-dead idea but Trump doesn't believe that humans are a major contributor in global warming/climate change/whateveryouwannacallit and so such a backwards policy is hardly a surprise from him. This is just more evidence that Trump is in fact an idiot, there are many deniers still around but the evidence continues to build up and up.
Trump has only survived in business due to a high level of corruptness, celebrity status and con artistry at a corporate level. I am trying to think of a great businessman that ever had a company they owned/run go bankrupt even once, Trump has had that happen four times with a strong indication that the reason they went bankrupt so fast being the likelihood that he was funneling money from those businesses to his personal accounts. It isn't smart, intelligent or competent but it is highly corrupt and without actual business acumen, about the only thing Trump could have done to retain his money in the long run... of course other people might have thought about just selling the companies in question but it would probably have been harder to do all the tax dodges if Trump had done that instead.
Once upon a time the govt. thought it would be a good idea to encourage a local semi-conductor manufacturing industry. So they imposed a tariff on imported components. Just on components, not on assemblies which included such components.
Looking at any PCB manufactured back then it had a lot of components stamped with all sorts of countries as source of origin. It would have been quite infeasible to build a product locally which would have avoided paying tariffs on such components. It was cheaper, therefore, to buy in stuff assembled abroad. All it did was damage the local electronics industry.
We still have that tariff. We still don't have that big semi-conductor manufacturing industry. We buy stuff fully assembled from China.
Something I read recently reminded me of this.
Every tariff only punishes the local population not the intended target. It might help a few people but largely it's a job killer as you point out with steel. Another example is sugar in the US and you'll see that we pay about 40% more than the rest of the world. You'll also find out why high fructose corn syrup is so widely used and why confectionery jobs move out of the country. If we're lucky this tariff will have similar results and we'll only lose three jobs for every one we save. Somehow I don't see us being that lucky.
> Every tariff only punishes the local population not the intended target.
It will be the same with 'the wall'. The Orange Buffoon as suggested putting a tariff of stuff from Mexico as he thinks that this will 'make Mexico pay for the wall'. The only result is that prices in the US will go up as it is the importer that pays the tariff and they pass it on the the [US] consumer.
Meanwhile Solar Farms will bypass this tariff and will build their farms in Mexico and then export the electricity to the US.
the power generation industry has many tools in it's kit bag to fight from taxes to building codes to land zoning.
AND they have the money to bribe politicians at state and national levels.
And to monetise the investment in solar anything you need the ability to sell surplus to the grid (state or nation-based).
VietNam has an abundance of sun and our government has been a little slow off the mark. The simplest solar system is a coil of black plastic hose-type pipe spread over a roof which can quickly produce water hot enough to make a coffee.
Looking out of my high-rise condominium it is very encouraging to see just how many homes have installed solar systems be they for heating water (most popular) or electricity. Even the poorest souls in this country can have hot water.
When I constructed two hotels for my wife (I actually employed labourers) we designed solar in to the designs. Rarely do guests turn 'instant' water heaters on sufficiently to trigger electrical consumption. Our electricity, sourced from battery-backed solar, results in frequent meter changes (EVN can't accept our not stealing electricity) and bills that amount to chump change of £20-30 per month for a total room count of 98.
I can understand those who claim solar arrays can disfigure the appearance of classical buildings, a little planning can minimise such changes in appearance.
China Gyna dominates the global supply chain and, by its own admission, is looking to increase its capacity to account for 70 percent of total planned global capacity expansions announced in the first half of 2017,"
Fixed. No need to worry. Gyna does not import much.
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