Claim: Trump Tariffs Forced Shelving of $2.5 billion of Solar Projects

In this photo taken Monday, May 7, 2018, solar panels are seen on the rooftop on a home in a new housing project in Sacramento, Calif. The California Energy Commission will take up a proposal, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 , to require solar panels on new residential homes and low-rise apartment buildings up to three starting in 2020. Rich Pedroncelli AP Photo

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon – solar installers are blaming President Trump for a slump in their industry. But President Trump’s solar tariffs have far greater implications for US manufacturing than a few disgruntled installers.

Billions in U.S. solar projects shelved after Trump panel tariff

Nichola Groom
JUNE 7, 2018 / 3:08 PM

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s tariff on imported solar panels has led U.S. renewable energy companies to cancel or freeze investments of more than $2.5 billion in large installation projects, along with thousands of jobs, the developers told Reuters.

That’s more than double the about $1 billion in new spending plans announced by firms building or expanding U.S. solar panel factories to take advantage of the tax on imports.

The U.S. solar industry employs more than 250,000 people – about three times more than the coal industry – with about 40 percent of those people in installation and 20 percent in manufacturing, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Solar was really on the cusp of being able to completely take off,” said Zoe Hanes, chief executive of Charlotte, North Carolina solar developer Pine Gate Renewables.

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.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-effect-solar-insight/billions-in-u-s-solar-projects-shelved-after-trump-panel-tariff-idUSKCN1J30CT

President Trump’s solar tariffs may have broken state efforts to circumvent Federal climate and energy policies. The solar tariffs ensure that states have to live with the consequences of their mistreatment of domestic manufacturers.

Thanks to President Trump’s import tariffs, a substantial percentage of those generous solar incentives provided by Massachusetts and other climate advocate states are now flowing straight into Federal revenues, in the form of tariff payments. States with generous solar incentives are now helping to fund the Trump administration.

Their only escape from handing over large sums of money to the Federal government is to either cut their solar incentives, or to help domestic solar manufacturers to cut costs – to slash the green tape which makes US manufacturing uncompetitive with China, and to ensure US manufacturers have access to cheap electricity.

Advertisements

113 thoughts on “Claim: Trump Tariffs Forced Shelving of $2.5 billion of Solar Projects

  1. Best thing I’ve read all day. We need to end ALL government subsidies and tax breaks for ridiculous “renewable” energy, especially for Tesla. The company would be nonexistent were it not for government assistance.

        • What should be the Take Away from this is that the reason for the slump is that Solar energy, isn’t “Free” energy and no one wants it if they have to pay for it

      • Well, No actually.
        Imposing a tariff is indeed,in this case, reducing a subsidy and moving the benefit to the wider taxpayer, who is otherwise the one penalized.
        It levels the playing field, instead of giving unwarranted and unjust assistance to a privileged few taxpayers relative to everyone else.
        Every special interest group will always cry ‘Lord Lord…….’
        Trump, or whoever, just called their bluff and effectively moved labour back home.

        • You have that completely backwards. A tariff is a tax on all consumers and a subsidy to those who had to compete with foreign competition.

          • No tariffs focus directly on a product or commodity. I’m not buying solar panels, I will not pay the tariff.

          • Every time I pay my electricity bill I am buying solar because of the state (in this case Vermont) subsidies given to those who install the panels on their homes. Every taxpayer funds those subsidies through the increased cost of electricity. At least the Tesla automotive subsidy will phase out when production exceeds 200,000. Then the sparks will fly…

          • You are buying energy from already installed solar. The tariffs don’t act retroactively.

          • So what is the solution when a foreign country is engaging in mercantilistic practices to produce products artificially below the market price?

            I believe what the tariffs imposed on Chinese produced solar panels are actually doing is negating the anti-free market practices of a totalitarian government.

      • …and that’s exactly its purpose, to penalize massively state-subsidized Chinese solar panel manufacturers. This in turn discourages domestic exploitation of ill-considered American subsidies that result in reverse-Robin Hood wealth transfer, corporate welfare, and grid instability.

        Good tariff.

        • Robert W Turner

          So is income tax added to punish workers then?

          Well, that might not be the intended and stated purpose of the income tax – after all, they were only going to “tax the richest 3%” back in 1916 when it was foisted on the remaining 97% of the (future) taxpayers in Wilson’s “hate the rich monopolies and oil executives” law – but certainly that IS what it does! (Besides, only the “rich” have money that can be taxed, right?)

          But today, with ever-greater welfare and give-away benefit now GREATER than “working for a living” being promised to the voters who DON’T pay taxes (taken from the fewer voters who DO pay taxes), the income tax has become a tool to punish the workers.

    • The preferences given solar and wind in many places has more effect than any outright subsidies, like “green”energy requirements and premium pricing schemes.

      • The “mandates” are what you speak of, and they are every bit as much of the problem as the “subsidies” themselves and are an indirect way of subsidizing solar and wind – since without them, nobody would “invest” in solar and wind, since it simply doesn’t pay to do so in an energy market with no “fingers on the scale.”

    • Patrick,
      I would love to see an accounting of all the direct government assistance that Tesla has received. I keep asking, but mostly what I get is the $7500 tax credit that is given to the buyers, not Tesla. And if you think $7500 make any difference to people willing to shell out $100K for what is basically an exotic sports car, then you don’t understand what motives buyers in that segment.

  2. A step in the right direction.

    Why not just get rid of subsidies for wind and solar projects?

    • Why not get rid of all federal subsidies? And all price support programs — farm subsidies included. Would there be some inconvenience, hardships even, during a period of adjustments-to-sanity that should ensue — Yes, likely but in the long run all of us would likely benefit if taxation was adjusted to leave the revenues in the hands of those who produce it to start with rather then using it to grow and subsidize governments as is the case currently.

  3. “Solar was really on the cusp of being able to completely take off,” said Zoe Hanes, chief executive of Charlotte, North Carolina solar developer Pine Gate Renewables.

    lol. “I could have been a contender.”

    • Solar/Wind ready to “take-off”. How many times have I read that or something similar. Always uttered/written when a hand out goes away. Interesting how it is always given as if the referenced action was the final straw. Seems there have been many final straws. That or the sentiment of on the cusp/ready to take off/finally show profitability is just plain horsesh!t.

      • Aussiebear
        Yep! Just like the ‘queue’ at Disney for the latest roller-coaster ride. You join the line thinking the ride is just around the corner… until you get there and the line doubles back … again and again and again. Once in the line there’s no going back so we just hang in there buoyed by the delusion that the ride is round the next corner!

  4. It is well known that China has ‘insulated’ it’s domestic solar panel ‘companies’ from competition to spur their takeover of a desired industry (paid for by the outrageous trade deficit and profligate US borrowing to fund our ridiculous spending habits). It’s funny, in a very sad way, that, ultimately, WE are providing the Chinese with the funds to destroy American industry, just like we funded the destruction of the textile industry in the US.

    The Chinese ‘politburo’ must have a ‘laughing period’ before they settle down to deciding which industry they will dominate next.

  5. Wonder if these tariffs are effecting the wallets of the likes of Soros, Steyer, Gore, etc? If yes, he he he and GREAT!

    • ITYM ‘affecting.’

      Oh, and apropos of nothing in particular, in politics, candidates lose. Bowels become loose.

  6. China’s Surprising Move To Cut Solar Subsidies

    Chinese solar companies sold off sharply on Monday following an announcement by the Chinese government that it would take measures that may curb the astronomical growth of its solar industry. The South China Morning Post reported:

    “A joint statement put out on Friday by the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance and National Energy Administration said the allocation of quotas for new projects had been halted until further notice, and tariffs on electricity generated from clean energy will be lowered by 0.05 yuan per kilowatt hour, a cut of 6.7 to 9 per cent depending on the region, effective June 1.”

    https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Solar-Energy/Chinas-Surprising-Move-To-Cut-Solar-Subsidies.html

    • That is an article about China’s funding of solar generating projects (within the country). It has nothing to do with making equipment or exporting it to the US.

        • “cutting subsidies and adding tariffs have the effect…..less money”
          The “cutting subsidies” is an internal China decision on how they fund their projects. Imposing tariffs is a US decision which, yes, takes money from US customers and industries.

          • Actually it will help American industries
            Below is a list of American made solar panels.
            If California goes through with its mandatory plan of adding solar panels to all new construction the tariffs should be high enough to to guarantee all the orders are filled by U.S. manufacturers.

            Economics Nick, The money stays here and circulates in our own economy

            https://www.gogreensolar.com/collections/solar-panels-made-in-usa

          • Well, it’ll ideally result in a pricing environment for solar panels that accurately reflects real costs, allowing the marketplace to efficiently allocate resources to the more efficient power generation tech. But California’s laws are also artificially impacting these market decisions in a huge way.

            At this point we just have to write off California as a rational energy marketplace, I’m afraid.

          • People have been brainwashed into believing that tariff is a bad word, and rather effectively too.

          • And brainwashed into believing the ghastly totalitarian EU don’t do tariffs when they are in fact the major protectionist protagonists.

          • Well it worked well for the U.S. when we did it. Worked well for Japan, now it it is working for China.
            Unusually the critic of tariffs are a group of individuals that stand to gain personally despite the damages done to their Nations industries and communities.
            Yes trade is good, import raw materials and agricultural products you can not obtain and export anything you can. Let some other Nation be the gullible fools to destroy their industries and tax base so that they can save a few bucks. Brilliant, save a little on an import and watch your property and sales taxes go up. Watch your police forces, schools and public works budgets fall further behind each year. Go for it Nick.

            michael

          • That is only true if all involved in the marketplace are honest actors using the same rules. But when you have state financed and controlled entities involved which are getting an unfair advantage, that is no longer true. In that case tariffs can be effective in re-balancing the system.

          • “The money stays here and circulates in our own economy” Amen, Brother. Which is the only way that there is any possibility of a country’s economy ever operating in a way that this goofy-assed thing that’s called a ‘Keynesian Multiplier” exists.
            The system is essentially a ‘subtracter’ when future purchasing power is being used to pay for imported goods and services that are produced off-shore rather than being produced by domestic producers.

          • Thomas, if that were true, if we were to seal the border to prevent all imports we should all become fabulously wealthy in just a few years.

          • “. . . the tariffs should be high enough to guarantee all orders are filled by U.S. manufacturers.”

            Left unsaid in the above: while also ensuring that said US manufacturers make more-than-reasonable profits on their sales.

          • Oh bloody hell. (Can I say that here? Let’s see..)

            Well, this is obviously simply more subsidization, in the extreme form of dumping. We need to raise the tariff. (Though perhaps not if the supply glut is transient.)

            Edit: and whether the decisions (tariff, reduced construction of PV farms) were linked, the effects certainly are.

          • That’s the standard assumption in climate science.
            It’s not surprising he’s making the same mistake elsewhere.

      • I would think that your perfect record of “being wrong with every comment you have ever made” would encourage you to rethink your untenable positions !!!

      • From an economic point of view the US could be overcapitalizing on a redundant technology.
        Hopefully some technology will come out that resolves the problem of ‘free’ inexhaustable power that is continuous, not subject to the vagaries of weather, and climate change.
        In the meanwhile they may as well hire people with the subsidies to adapt to inevitable vagaries of weather and climate.

      • Re: “That is an article about China’s funding of solar generating projects (within the country). It has nothing to do with making equipment or exporting it to the US.”

        Not directly, to be sure. I suspect this decision is simply Peking realizing that their nuclear power electrical generation effort is where they’re most likely to realize the greatest return on investment. It’s possible that loss of prospective export sales also influenced the decision to scale back PV production for domestic use, though.

        Edit: there’s was no reason to down check the above comment, Nick is correct (with possible caveats).

      • I read this morning that the US government is collecting record amounts in taxes.
        So much for the claim that Trump’s tax cuts are going to gut revenue collection.

        • Amazing isn’t it, how economic prosperity and increasing employment can improve tax collection. It’s almost like income taxes are paid by people who are legally employed rather then welfare recipients or undocumented immigrants. <¿<

          Now we just need to keep draining the swamp, so that those hard earned taxes will be spent on useful things and not wasted on more renewables or climate boondoggle.

          ~¿~

  7. Interesting that the coal industry with fewer people still produces more energy than the solar industry. How can it ever be economically competitive when the labor costs are so much higher?

    • Loren Wilson

      I read somewhere that it takes 70 renewables workers to produce the equivalent energy of one coal worker.

      Renewables: the new government funded job creation scheme.

      It could only happen in the UK, unfortunately the USA has been contaminated.

    • Loren,
      Is it because ‘The Energy is Free’?

      Of course, its advocates don’t emphasise that they need rather a lot of kit to ‘harvest’ non-energy-dense energy!
      And some to get it from where it is harvested [deserts, rocky outcrops, miles offshore, and so forth] to where people live and work and use energy.
      Nor that – if we suckers want the lights to stay on – there needs to a back-up source that someone has to pay for – and that needs to be effective [see solar power at night for a contrast].

      Auto

  8. … help domestic solar manufacturers to cut costs – to slash the green tape which makes US manufacturing uncompetitive with China, and to ensure US manufacturers have access to cheap electricity.

    I don’t have a problem with income taxes on corporations. If a corporation is paying income tax it is making a profit.

    What I do have a problem with is taxes, fees, and regulations that can’t be avoided.

    Why regulations, you ask? Regulations cost in many ways. If you can afford a team of lawyers and technical experts and lobbyists you can game the system to your advantage. If you’re a small business, you get nailed by federal, state, and municipal regulations that may conflict.

    New businesses get stifled before they can become profitable.

    Meanwhile, for big business:

    But by taking advantage of myriad breaks and loopholes that other countries generally do not offer, United States corporations pay only slightly more on average than their counterparts in other industrial countries. And some American corporations use aggressive strategies to pay less — often far less — than their competitors abroad and at home. A Government Accountability Office study released in 2008 found that 55 percent of United States companies paid no federal income taxes during at least one year in a seven-year period it studied. link

    American manufacturers have trouble competing with China. Small American manufacturers have a lot of trouble competing with China. It’s an own goal.

    • “I don’t have a problem with income taxes on corporations. If a corporation is paying income tax it is making a profit.”

      Do American corps ever pay taxes or is the expected cost of whatever tax rolled into the corporation’s product pricing structure as a cost of doing business? In other words, don’t the corporation’s customers pay the tax for them?

      If so, doesn’t that mean in most cases we the people pay the tax?

      “What I do have a problem with is taxes, fees, and regulations that can’t be avoided.”

      You mean like the income tax???

      • You can’t have a government without revenue. The question then is how to collect that revenue. It boils down to who’s going to pay.

        One possibility is that everyone pays the same. If you can’t pay, you go to jail. link In the USofA, total taxation is about 6 trillion. There are about 300 million people. That’s about $20,000 per person. That’s around the poverty line so we’d have to send 40 million people to jail.

        Another possibility is strictly income tax. Somehow that seems fairer.

        • “You can’t have a government without revenue. The question then is how to collect that revenue. It boils down to who’s going to pay.”

          Agreed. Now the question at hand remains:

          “Do American corps ever pay taxes or is the expected cost of whatever tax rolled into the corporation’s product pricing structure as a cost of doing business? In other words, don’t the corporation’s customers pay the tax for them?

          If so, doesn’t that mean in most cases we the people pay the tax?”

        • $20K per person is not evidence that a flat tax is bad, it is evidence that the government is taxing way, way too much.

    • In general, a company that doesn’t make money, doesn’t pay income taxes.
      Declaring that not paying taxes one year in seven is not the slam dunk proof that there is a problem with the tax system that you want to believe.

  9. Poor babies,.. can’t make a go of it even with 30% Federal subsidies and net-metering for residential.

    Would they survive without subsidies and fake metering? I think not.

    • You get the system that you measure for.
      Is solar feasible, economically?
      We will never find out until subsidies end.
      Why wean your company off of free money?

      • You need to eliminate both the subsidies and the mandates that require power companies to buy such energy.

        • Agreed 100% – there is absolutely no justification for the boneheaded stupidity of mandating the use of unreliable, unpredictable, non-dispatchable sources (or more correctly, non-sources) of energy.

  10. Trump is a bull in a China shop that needs clearing out. All the political BS about how fair current tariffs are don’t pass the sniff test. Don’t tell me how fair trade is when there’s massive trade imbalances. Protecting a nation’s agriculture/industry shouldn’t produce surpluses on either side. Please explain how I’m wrong.

    • Well, it’s always possible for one country to be more efficient than another. This usually takes the form of local industry efficiency that goes both ways, i.e., one country better at “x” while the other better at “y”, resulting in mutually beneficial trade. Where this results in a persistent, massive trade imbalance, the solution is usually currency revaluation of some sort.

      In general, tariffs and the like are justifiable only in the context of some other pathological trade practice – in this case, massive Chinese subsidies of their PV industry (as well as other factors such as currency manipulation, regulatory barriers etc.)

      • Randall,

        My ha’peth for what it’s is worth is that increased efficiency is all well and good but not at the expense of quality which is remembered a long time after the cost is forgotten.

        I have little confidence in the quality of Chinese products.

        Not being critical or anything, just my view.

        PS. I know bugger all about economics by the way…..!

        • Jones

          You’re probably using a Chinese built PC, mobile phone, fridge etc.

          I’m aware that during the 80’s/90’s the Chinese were scouring the UK for used industrial machinery. The bought up every piece of obsolete kit they could find then attracted British business to locate manufacturing out there.

          The initial production was cheap and of good quality, then the machines started breaking down and they didn’t have spares. Quality fell off a cliff and UK manufacturers have been coming back in numbers since the 2000’s.

          A friend of mine was the biggest importer of electric bicycles into Australia from China a decade or so ago. He said the Chinese were a nightmare to deal with. No contract on the planet could force them to take back/make good/recompense him for faulty goods.

          He was eventually rewiring every bike he imported and said not one of them had the same componentry or was wired in the same way.

          Not that the Aussie government helped. At the peak of his electric bike business, they banned electric bikes, so he switched to tiny ICE assisted bicycles. Then the Aussie government unbanned the electric bike because everyone was screaming electric everything.

          He was stuck with innumerable ICE’s and nothing to do with them.

          He’s now looking for a job to pay his mortgage.

          • China is pretty much following the same path that Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea and many other so called Asian Dragons have followed.

            When I was a kid, Made in Japan was synonymous with cheap and low quality.
            As they gained experience, Japanese companies moved up and started competing in the higher quality categories.

    • The trade imbalance is caused by the budget deficit and will exist as long as the federal government runs a budget deficit.

      The reason is the budget deficit gives other countries the option to buy US Treasuries in order to manipulate their currencies. No deficit, no Treasuries, no currency manipulation.

  11. That’s one squarely in the eye of the teat-sucking ruinable energy scammers. }:o) Keep it up!

  12. Anything that discourages the replacement of cheap, reliable energy with inefficient, unreliable energy is a good thing!

  13. THE GREEN INDUSTRY DISASTER

    As of 2016, clean energy jobs in the U.S.A. for wind,solar, and bioenergy were ~ 600,000,

    while the fossil fuel industry had ~ 1,075,000 which included 52,000 coal miners. It is NEVER a good thing for an industry to employ more workers than less if the output does not increase as the same % increase of employment.
    The fossil fuel industry provided 85% of the power while wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal provided 3.6%.

    Looking at just the electricity generation in 2017; total electricity delivered capacity was 468GW with wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal generating about 44 GW of delivered capacity to the electric grid or 9.4 %. Hydro delivered 35 GW or 7.4 % and nuclear delivered 93 GW or 20 % while fossil fuels delivered 296 GW or 63%.

    Since 2004, $3 trillion has been spent on renewables with present spending of $300 billion a year.
    Countries like Germany and Denmark have even spent much more per capita with much higher % of renewables but their consumers now have the highest electricity prices in the world topping over $0.30 per kw/hr as the basic variable cost before any fixed and extra costs are added.

    Since hydro is basically tapped out in the U.S.A., and biomass and geothermal are extremely small players; that leaves wind, solar,fossil fuels and nuclear as the electricity generators of the future. We will always need either fossil fuels or nuclear as backups for solar and wind because they are intermittent. The greens do not like either backup but they have no choice because our society will never accept blackouts or even brownouts.

    • This provides proof that if ignorance is deeply embedded enough and is profound enough then ignorance can be weaponized for political purposes.

  14. I watch with interest from here in the U.K. as the wind of Trump realism sweeps through the USA.

    Sadly we Brits are, I believe, the only country saddled with a statutory “Climate Change Act” which completely addles the minds of our politicians. However, there are some indications of sanity such as tentative moves to develope fracking; but I do not hold my breath.

    Meanwhile the scam of the Satanic CO2 Meme is coming under increasing scrutiny and I welcome that.

    • Alasdair

      I suspect we might see something happening sooner rather than later. America under Trump is only just beginning to flex it’s commercial muscle once again. The UK government is watching as he sticks two fingers up to the EU, and they are quaking in their boots.

      Mother Theresa May must, at some point soon, make a decision on which side of the pond she want’s to play. Side with an emerging American economy, or side with a crumbling EU, in the most part crumbling because Brexit started the rot of the bureaucratic nightmare.

      Germany’s energy policy is proving a disaster and it is likely to make goods uncompetitive as manufacturers struggle with spiralling energy costs and they ship yet more of their production offshore (all BMW’s X range is made in the US already).

      Former members of the Eastern bloc have formed an alliance within the EU to ensure they are dealt with fairly, and the big three of the EU is now shored up with Italy instead of the UK; another country considering jumping ship.

      Greece lit the blue touch paper and ever since, countries have been glancing over their shoulder to see if they are the next target of Frau Merkle and her cronies, exercising almost complete control control over the Euro.

      The Irish issue can be dealt with quite simply. If the EU want a border between north and south, they can deal with it and take the flak when it fails. Why should we care if NI is the back door for EU goods and services. Perhaps the EU should have thought of that eventuality when they reneged on their promise that the Common Market would never become a political and economic union.

      Go and speak to The Donald, Theresa, and take some advice on getting us out the mess we’re in, thanks to, in no small part, your irresponsible and badly run election campaign.

      We need a hard Brexit, solid relationship and trade development with America, our traditional allies, before we are left in its wake.

    • The EU trade monolith looks tarnished at this point. A rising dollar will help it some but the performance differences between the US and EU are about to be much more glaring very soon. The Germans appear to be responding by buying out US companies at a faster pace.

  15. It’s about time Renewable energy started to help support Federal programs such as Medicare and help reduce the budget deficit.

  16. Obviously, the support of solar power plants will soon be abolished, as cheap solutions have emerged recently, which it can do unnecessary the various subsidies anyway. Of course, like any change, this can also cause great problems for many.

  17. “with about 40 percent of those people in installation and 20 percent in manufacturing,”

    & the other 40% sit back & take the rake-off… paid for by us.

  18. When an article highlights as a plus that the solar industry employs 3 times the number of people to produce a fraction of the generating energy capacity that coal does actually gives a greater understanding of why solar cannot compete. To me supporting the renewable industry because it creates jobs is like employing people to dig holes then employ more people to fill them in and about as useless. Government uses the renewables industry as a substitute for unemployment welfare. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if they didn’t stuff up the economy at the same time.

    • Agreed. I like to say, “Like replacing bulldozers, backhoes, tractor shovels, and graders with men carrying shovels.” With a similar effect on costs, project completion times, and degradation of the economy.

  19. Rooftop solar is not competitive with grid solar or anything else. When you see solar jobs being touted, it’s your clue that the rooftop solar subsidy industry (lobby) is at it again. The truly competitive solar mfg player(s) are not about job tallies but cost. They are moving further into robot production lines and potentially robot panel loaders at utility scale install sites.

  20. As we all know, the problem with solar and wind power is that it is intermittent, requiring the equivalent in stand-by non-intermittent power. Or, twice the capacity. Government stupidity is not unique to this century.
    A long period of prosperity in England peaked in the early 1600s. The government wanting to relieve the hardship came up with a “make work” plan. At the time, England sold wool to Holland for finishing. Holland was the financial and commercial center of the world. The government was persuaded to duplicate those facilities. Providing twice the capacity. Veteran merchants in London derided the scheme as a sepulcher. “Attractive without, dead bones within.”
    Because the scheme was imposed by mindless authoritarians, it was called “Tyrannical Duncery”.
    The merchants were right. Even then contractions follow booms and it was seen as a disaster.
    A lot of “Duncery” going around these days. Having to double the amount of power generation to glorify virtue signaling.
    Bob Hoye

  21. ‘The U.S. solar industry employs more than 250,000 people – about three times more than the coal industry’

    So coal is way more efficient than solar.

    BTW, how many people are employed in backing up solar? Which will be required until they solve the mystery of why solar doesn’t work at night.

    • Didn’t you hear? . . . another 200,000 jobs will be created to produce all those batteries needed to store solar for level-loading over nighttime, during cloudy days, and during times when it is raining or snowing.

      This DOES NOT include the additional 100,000 or so jobs that will ramp up over the next 10 years or so to begin large-scale reprocessing of those solar PV storage batteries that age to where they can no longer hold adequate charge.

  22. How can someone write for a major news service and be so clueless about economics?
    Nichola proudly states:

    The U.S. solar industry employs more than 250,000 people – about three times more than the coal industry..

    Three times the labor to produce what fraction of our energy?

  23. “…The U.S. solar industry employs more than 250,000 people – about three times more than the coal industry – with about 40 percent of those people in installation and 20 percent in manufacturing, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    “Solar was really on the cusp of being able to completely take off,” said Zoe Hanes, chief executive of Charlotte, North Carolina solar developer Pine Gate Renewables…”

    Perhaps your employment numbers are true Zoe Hanes, but I have some news for you. The U.S. EIA also says that the U.S. solar industry produced only 1.3% of our electricity as of the end of last year whereas the coal industry generated 30.1%:

    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3.

    I’ve been waiting for the solar industry to…ahem…”take off” for some time now and demonstrate that it is capable of generating amounts of electricity comparable to our fossil fuel plants. I believe the word I’m thinking of here is “productivity.”

    Do yourself a favor Hanes, and check out the energy density of solar (and wind too for that matter) and compare it to the density of fossil fuels and nuclear. You might find the energy density issue is at the root of what ails the solar industry (among other things) which makes its productivity per employee somewhat of a joke.

    The tariffs on Chinese solar panels are the least of the solar industry’s problems.

  24. The U.S. solar industry employs more than 250,000 people – about three times more than the coal industry

    Wow, I didn’t know that. A repeat of Roosevelt’s make-work jobs back in the 1930s — digging holes and filling them back up. But at least that activity didn’t screw up the electrical-supply grid.

  25. Posted by Eric Worrall
    Quoting: Nichola Groom – JUNE 7, 2018 / 3:08 PM

    The U.S. solar industry employs more than 250,000 people – about three times more than the coal industry – with about 40 percent of those people in installation and 20 percent in manufacturing,

    Three (3) times more employees than the coal industry, ….. HUH, ….. HUH, …… HUH?

    And the literal facts are:

    US Department of Labor – May 2017 Coal Industry Employment and Wage Estimates

    Total employees: 49,650 — Mean hourly wage: $28.90 —- Mean yearly wage: $60,100.00
    https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm

    Me thinks the solar industry currently employees five (5X) times more people than the coal industry.

    more than 250,000 employees …. Verses ….. 49,650 employees.

    And an obvious question would be: Which group of employees is responsible for producing five (5) times as much electrical power at 1/5th the cost?

  26. Well, this also means that 2.5 billion will NOT be wasted on unproductive low-efficiency taxpayer-subsidized solar energy schemes in poorly-sited solar areas such as Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, … That 2.5 billion can be saved, be used for more productive investments, or kept for the homeowner to pay off his/her debt .

  27. Ban rooftop solar and only allow utility scale and community scale solar projects from competitive bid processes without subsidy, local content rules, or other gimmicks.

Comments are closed.