You probably heard about the solar tariffs when they made headlines earlier this year. There’s a new update worth mentioning. The Protecting American Solar Jobs Act was submitted on April 18, 2018, by Congresswoman Jacky Rosen of Nevada.
Rosen and many others see the solar tariffs as damaging for the solar industry as a whole.
The bipartisan bill proposes reversing the 30 percent solar tariffs, which were approved by President Trump in January. It will also reimburse any companies who imported affected solar products under the tariffs for any financial damages incurred.
In accordance with the bill’s name, Rosen cited job creation among the main reasons for returning solar import prices back to their previous rates.
She highlighted the importance of the solar industry and its ability to create “new jobs, cheaper power bills, and the growth of a new industry that is diversifying our state’s economy.”
Rosen’s efforts were supported from both sides of the political aisle, with several Democratic and Republican representatives from California and South Carolina joining her as cosponsors. A sign of the economic viability of solar taking precedence over political leaning, the bill might be promising for further progress through collaboration.
Solar makes more sense than ever in terms of helping people provide for their families, both by developing more opportunities for employment and by offering an alternative to ever-rising utility rates.
Solar Jobs and Pricing for Homeowners
A Solar Foundation census released last year reported that 250,271 people were employed in solar jobs during 2017. With only 1.3 percent of the energy portfolio currently utilizing solar technology, potential room for growth in these new tech jobs is exponential.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) projected the solar tariffs will reduce the number of solar industry jobs by a net of 23,000 in 2018.
Tariffs on solar module imports are affecting prices, though it looks to be more in commercial solar than residential. The stronger the solar industry is, the more deploy-able the technology, and the more reasonable the pricing becomes on a whole.
Will the Bill Make it Through?
In order to take effect, the Protecting American Solar Jobs Act will have to be approved by the House, the Senate and then it will return to president Trump’s desk again for his approval.
While it seems doubtful that President Trump will reverse his opinion on the matter, there’s always the possibility that a well-presented argument could land just right on the presidential desk.
The positive effects of the solar industry on local economies across the U.S. are far-reaching. If the argument can be made clear and any new numbers could be presented in a way to exemplify the value of eliminating the tariffs for solar employment, there’s a chance it could make it through. Either way, it’s a statement worth making.
For a bullet-point rundown on the history of solar tariffs, check out this solar tariffs fact sheet. Or read this article on the solar tariffs news about the solar tariffs and residential solar pricing.