The Tariff Effects. SEIA released a report showing that the solar tariffs have caused more than 62,000 job losses or missed growth. At least $19billion in private investment was lost while 10.5GW of solar was not installed. The harm hit the States that have the most borderline markets already that could have created job and business opportunities if US modules were priced at the same level as other markets globally.
Trump White House Claims ‘Fake News’. Navarro called SEIA “a loose confederation of Chinese solar companies seeking to destroy American solar manufacturing jobs and U.S. solar installers that want cheap Chinese panels and don’t care how many American jobs are destroyed by China’s heavily subsidized industry.”
SEIA’s Abby Hopper Responds. “We were heartened to hear the president talk today about his concern over climate change, and I think we are all in agreement that greater use of solar energy and a strong solar manufacturing presence is one way we can meet our collective goals of continuing American economic growth and addressing climate change in a meaningful way. We’d be thrilled if Mr. Navarro would come to one of our conferences and meet some of the 240,000 Americans who work in this great industry, including the tens of thousands of people who are manufacturing solar products. We look forward to working with the Trump administration on ways to advance real manufacturing growth without these particularly counterproductive tariffs.”
SolarWakeup Comments. The White House doesn’t have to like the report and can even rebut it. They could have easily countered by saying that solar is growing and new manufacturing has been built in the US thanks to their policy. Instead they go straight to the fake news and the kicker quote. SEIA is a lot of things and not perfect from my standpoint but diminishing the association to a “loose confederation” or “Chinese solar companies” that “don’t care about American jobs” is complete malarkey. Most of you reading this newsletter are members of SEIA and know that the jobs you create and you hold are cared about. I don’t care what party you come from, there should be robust condemnation of the Navarro comments.
A New Era Of Investment. Axios’s Dan Primack, whom I ran into at SFO yesterday, is out with a renewable energy article. This is news by itself given that he covers private equity in greater detail than any reporter. The TL:DR is capital is drying up for fossil fuel generation and a lot of the investment is going to go towards renewable energy. Of course we have to make sure the pipeline is robust enough for the capital to be interested. The further takeaway is that executives and board directors will have adjust their messaging and strategy going forward. Watch this space.