The U.S. photo voltaic business is warning of an enormous slowdown in challenge installations this yr as world provide chain disruptions and the specter of new U.S. tariffs on panel imports from Southeast Asia hit dwelling.
U.S. energy firm Southern Co. on Thursday mentioned almost a gigawatt of its deliberate photo voltaic power initiatives could be delayed by a yr, the newest in a string of warnings from corporations and business representatives citing the 2 points.
A slowdown within the photo voltaic business’s development may pose a menace to the Biden administration’s local weather objectives, which embody decarbonizing the U.S. energy sector by 2035 via the widespread adoption of wind and photo voltaic power.
“I share your deep concern about this,” Power Secretary Jennifer Granholm mentioned on Thursday whereas testifying at a congressional price range listening to. She was responding to a lawmaker’s query about the specter of new tariffs on photo voltaic installations.
On a convention name to debate the corporate’s quarterly outcomes, Southern Chief Monetary Officer Daniel Tucker mentioned the corporate’s Georgia Energy utility had obtained regulatory approval final week to delay a number of photo voltaic initiatives by a yr.
The delay to November 2024 applies to 5 deliberate photo voltaic amenities in Georgia that add as much as 970 megawatts of capability, in response to a regulatory doc. That’s sufficient capability to energy 184,000 properties.
The initiatives are being developed by Nextera, EDF Renewables and Consolidated Edison, in response to regulatory paperwork. Georgia Energy has 30-year contracts to purchase the facility from these amenities. Southern has dedicated to lowering its carbon emissions to “internet zero” by 2050, partly by procuring massive quantities of photo voltaic power.
Final week, NextEra mentioned it anticipated about 2.1 to 2.8 GW of its photo voltaic and power storage initiatives to shift from 2022 to 2023. The corporate largely blamed the U.S. Commerce Division’s commerce probe into alleged tariff dodging by Chinese language panel makers, launched final month, that might end in tariffs on photo voltaic panels from 4 Southeast Asian nations that account for about 80% of imports into the USA.
The investigation, which won’t be completed for months, has introduced uncertainty to the photo voltaic market as a result of the tariffs might be carried out retroactively.
Earlier this week, the biggest photo voltaic commerce group mentioned it was reducing its photo voltaic set up forecasts for this yr and subsequent by 46% because of the menace of recent tariffs. Greater than 315 initiatives are being canceled or delayed, in response to the Photo voltaic Power Industries Affiliation.
The tariff issues have added to an array of complications for U.S. photo voltaic builders that embody surging prices for parts, labor and freight as the worldwide economic system recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
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