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 new analysis by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the case will result in a drop of 24 gigawatts (GW) of planned solar capacity over the next two years, which is more solar than the industry 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,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “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 lost solar deployment will cause the United States to emit an additional 364 million metric tons of carbon by 2035, missing the opportunity to effectively take 78 million internal combustion-engine vehicles off the road.
In addition to the new analysis, SEIA has collected more than 700 survey responses to capture project-level data and the impact felt by companies.
A total of 318 projects accounting for 51 GW of solar capacity and 6 GWh of attached battery storage are being cancelled or delayed. Fully $52 billion of private investment is at risk. In addition, 70% of survey respondents report that at least half their solar and storage workforce is at risk and more than 200 companies report that their entire workforce is at risk.
“This case is destroying clean energy, and needlessly taking down American businesses and workers in its wake,” added Ms. 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.