Economy

Trump’s Tariffs Lead to $2.5 Billion in Lost Solar Projects

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Months before he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Trump imposed a blanket tariff on imports of solar panels; tariffs that have led to lost opportunities and killed thousands of job.

Solar developers who spoke to Reuters say they've had to canceled at least $2.5 billion in mostly large, utility-scale projects that would have employed thousands.

Interestingly, the bulk of these cancellations and job losses are coming in southern and Midwestern states that voted for Trump because those states were poised to see the most growth.

Leading utility-scale developer Cypress Creek Renewables LLC said it had been forced to cancel or freeze $1.5 billion in projects - mostly in the Carolinas, Texas and Colorado - because the tariff raised costs beyond the level where it could compete, spokesman Jeff McKay said. [...]

For some developers, the tariff has meant abandoning nascent markets in the American heartland that last year posted the strongest growth in installations. That growth was concentrated in states where voters supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

South Bend, Indiana-based developer Inovateus Solar LLC, for example, had decided three years ago to focus on emerging Midwest solar markets such as Indiana and Michigan. But the tariff sparked a shift to Massachusetts, where state renewable energy incentives make it more profitable, chairman T.J. Kanczuzewski said.

The Trump regime would tell you the purpose of these tariffs is to promote the domestic production of solar panels, but the tariffs haven't lit the manufacturing industry on fire and have led to losses in the greater renewable industry that is mostly based on installation, not production.

Likewise, Trump's tariffs on metals and his coming tariffs on other Chinese products are going to lead to far more losses than gains.

What I mean is, we'll finally be great again.

  • Draxiar

    I don’t really know how much more of trump’s shit I can take.

    • Georgie

      I know, it’s exhausting.

  • muselet

    Job losses will be blamed on the Ds. Worsening air quality will be ignored. Global climate change will continue to be denied. Excess deaths will be hand-waved away.

    All because the Rs in general and the Trump administration in particular like (certain) fossil fuels more than they like the free(ish) market or indeed Americans.

    –alopecia

  • Ceoltoir

    Solar employs more people than coal but who cares about the “Free Market” when there is a monopolistic business model to defend.

    • Tony Lavely

      Well, we can fix that, right? Coal and oil are coming back, amirite?

  • ninjaf

    That’s what they get for working in one of those sissy, “snowflake” energy sectors. “Real ‘Muricans” work in the fossil fuel industry.
    /snark

    • Tony Lavely

      I suspect there’s no snark in many peoples’ telling of this. Fortunately, we bought our solar panels before tariffs.