If you’re an avid reader of our biweekly solar news roundups, you may have noticed that it looks a bit different this week. Because we cover a wide variety of topics across the energy industry, we decided to better reflect this in our news roundups – so you can now look forward to the biweekly energy news roundup going forward.
This week, we discuss the Biden administration’s two-year freeze on solar tariffs and an exciting milestone in the U.S. energy storage industry.
Biden administration halts tariffs on solar imports
Last Monday, the Biden administration made a crucial announcement for the solar industry: the U.S. will place a two-year pause on imposing new solar tariffs. The decision comes amid supply chain constraints that have led to project delays and even job losses throughout the industry, coupled with calls from Auxin Solar, a small, U.S.-based solar manufacturer, for additional tariffs on some imported solar panels.
Auxin Solar has claimed that some Chinese solar companies have circumvented current tariffs by moving their operations out of China into other countries. The U.S. Commerce Department started investigating these claims, which, if founded, could result in tariffs on solar panels imported from Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. According to Canary Media, these four countries supply about 80 percent of U.S. solar panel imports.
While the Commerce Department will continue its investigation, new tariffs will not be able to be implemented until 2024. The Biden Administration also invoked the Defense Production Act to expand domestic manufacturing of solar panels, heat pumps, and other clean energy products.
U.S. storage deployment sets new records
The storage industry has also been hit hard by supply chain constraints – but storage deployment has still made significant progress. According to Wood Mackenzie’s new U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report, grid-scale energy storage installations quadrupled between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022, setting a new record. Year-over-year storage deployment also increased across non-residential and residential segments between 2021 and 2022. In total, Americans installed 955 megawatts (MW) and 2,875 megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage in 2022.