WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a proclamation underscoring his support for revoking an exclusion from tariffs on some imported double-sided solar panels, and for raising the planned tariff rate to 18% for 2021 from 15%.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after treatment for the coronavirus at the White House in Washington


© Reuters/ERIN SCOTT
U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after treatment for the coronavirus at the White House in Washington

Trump said the domestic U.S. industry was starting to increase production and market share of certain solar modules after he imposed tariffs on imports in January 2018, but further steps were needed.

Bifacial panels should not be excluded from the tariffs, Trump said, adding that doing so had limited the overall measures and would likely continue to impair their effectiveness.

“In light of the increased imports of competing products such exclusion entails … it is necessary to revoke (the) exclusion and to apply the safeguard tariff to bifacial panels,” Trump said in a proclamation released by the White House.

“To achieve the full remedial effect envisaged for that action, it is necessary to adjust the duty rate of the safeguard tariff for the fourth year of the safeguard measure to 18 percent.”

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Solar farm developers, including Chicago-based Invenergy Renewables LLC, had sued to maintain the exemption initially granted by the Trump administration, but it was later rescinded after officials realized it led to a spike in imports.

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The United States in January 2018 imposed duties on solar panel imports beginning at 30% and expected to drop to 15% by 2021. Trump’s announcement would put the rate at 18%

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a proclamation underscoring his support for revoking an exclusion from tariffs on some imported double-sided solar panels, and for raising the planned tariff rate to 18% for 2021 from 15%.

Trump said the domestic U.S. industry was starting to increase production and market share of certain solar modules after he imposed tariffs on imports in January 2018, but further steps were needed.

Bifacial panels should not be excluded from the tariffs, Trump said, adding that doing so had limited the overall measures and would likely continue to impair their effectiveness.

“In light of the increased imports of competing products such exclusion entails … it is necessary to revoke (the) exclusion and to apply the safeguard tariff to bifacial panels,” Trump said in a proclamation released by the White House.

“To achieve the full remedial effect envisaged for that action, it is necessary to adjust the duty rate of the safeguard tariff for the fourth year of the safeguard measure to 18 percent.”

Solar farm developers, including Chicago-based Invenergy Renewables LLC, had sued to maintain the exemption initially granted by the Trump administration, but it was later rescinded after officials realized it led to a spike in imports.

The United States in January 2018 imposed duties on solar panel imports beginning at 30% and expected to drop to 15% by 2021. Trump’s announcement would put the rate at 18% next year.

China and other producers dominate the bifacial technology market, a small but growing part of the solar panel market that costs more but produces greater power than traditional panels.

Consumers and importers have argued that higher tariffs will boost their costs and are unnecessary because domestic producers do not make the panels and face no harm from imports.

Domestic producers

(Bloomberg) —

China’s massive renewable energy industry has seen shares soar since President Xi Jinping announced the country aims to go carbon neutral by 2060.

That surge continued Friday as mainland-listed solar giants like Longi Green Energy Technology Co. and Tongwei Co. jumped in their first trading after a week-long holiday during which some peers in Hong Kong posted gains of more than 20%.



chart, line chart: Renewable energy stocks in Hong Kong soar on Xi's carbon-neutral goal


© Bloomberg
Renewable energy stocks in Hong Kong soar on Xi’s carbon-neutral goal

The furious rally illustrates the growth potential investors see in Beijing’s effort to go from the world’s biggest polluter to carbon neutrality. The shift could require anywhere from $5 trillion to $15 trillion in investment, much of it in wind- and solar-power generation.

Read more about Asian renewable stocks’ great performance this year.

The premium that mainland stocks, known as A-shares, normally have over Hong Kong counterparts has narrowed during the trading holiday, said Dennis Ip, an analyst with Daiwa Capital Markets. “So it’s very likely that A-shares of solar companies are going to have very good performances” on Friday.

China is home to the most solar panels and wind turbines in the world, and is also the leading manufacturer of both. Its companies are technology leaders in photovoltaic panels, which are seen as the leading source of future power, according to BloombergNEF.

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Government officials are already considering proposals to accelerate adoption of clean energy, which would boost installations of solar and wind, in its next five-year plan, which begins in 2021.

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Friday’s mainland gains include:

Longi, which makes wafers, cells and panels and is the world’s largest solar company by market

First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) stock is testing nine-year resistance on Thursday, at the cusp of a major breakout that could generate superior returns in coming years. The stock reversed at this barrier in late August and fell 20 points after the company announced an 8.6 million secondary share offering, yielding a bounce just above the 200-day exponential moving average (EMA) in the low $60s. It turned higher at the end of September and has now returned to this critical level.

Key Takeaways

  • First Solar stock has been stuck in a basing pattern since 2014.
  • The company should benefit from aggressive climate change policy.
  • The stock has rallied to resistance for the fourth time and could break out.
  • An uptrend may generate superior returns in coming years.

The solar cell manufacturer and power plant designer should thrive and prosper in this decade, with worldwide political sentiment transitioning out of fossil fuel and into alternative energy sources. The Arizona-based company will also benefit from a 2020 California law mandating solar panels on all new single- and multi-family constructions. A Democratic administration would likely augment these trends, lifting the stock to price levels not seen since 2011.

Wall Street consensus has slowly improved in 2020, with a “Moderate Buy” rating on First Solar shares based upon six “Buy,” four “Hold,” and two “Sell” recommendations. Price targets currently range from a low of $38 to a Street-high $95, while the stock is set to open Thursday’s session about $9 above the median $72 target. This placement may support an initial breakout, but further upgrades will be needed to establish a long-term uptrend.

There are two types of secondary offerings. A non-dilutive secondary offering is a sale of securities in which one or more major stockholders in a company sell all or a large

A two-week hearing starting Tuesday before the Utah Public Service Commission could result in a “make-or-break” ruling for the rooftop solar industry in one of the nation’s sunniest states.



(Chris Detrick | Tribune file photo) A technician installs solar panels on top of a home in Salt Lake City in 2016. The Utah Public Service Commission is beginning a two-week hearing that likely will determine the future of rooftop solar in Utah because it will decide the value of the credits solar-users receive in selling excess power to the state's regulated electric utility, Rocky Mountain Power.


© Chris Detrick
(Chris Detrick | Tribune file photo) A technician installs solar panels on top of a home in Salt Lake City in 2016. The Utah Public Service Commission is beginning a two-week hearing that likely will determine the future of rooftop solar in Utah because it will decide the value of the credits solar-users receive in selling excess power to the state’s regulated electric utility, Rocky Mountain Power.

The three-member PSC panel is weighing competing proposals for the amount Utah electrical-utility customers are to be credited for excess solar power they export into the grid for their neighbors to use.

Rocky Mountain Power, Utah’s largest utility, is seeking an 84% reduction, while solar advocates are pressing for an increase over the current export credit of 9.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), or 90% of the utility’s average residential retail rate.

The utility’s proposal ignores numerous benefits “distributed” power generation provides the utility in addition to avoided fuel costs, such as reduced line losses and reduced grid upkeep, according to Kate Bowman of Utah Clean Energy.

Currently, 40,000 homes and businesses are pumping rooftop-generated power into the RMP grid. That’s 2% of the utility’s customers, indicating there is plenty of opportunity for growth in a business sector that employs 7,000 people in Utah, Bowman said.

“If Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal is approved, it sends a strong signal to prospective solar customers that their energy exported to the grid is essentially worthless,” she said. “It would take up to 25 years, potentially longer, to pay back the upfront investment in solar panels. And that means many solar customers will never realize any