CPA sent the following letter to President Joe Biden urging him to use every trade, tax, and support policy at your disposal to ensure that U.S. solar manufacturers and workers continue investing in domestic solar supply chain capacity to achieve your emission reduction goals.
Dear President Biden,
The U.S. domestic solar energy industry is continuing to see historic growth as a result of successful trade remedies that have significantly benefited American producers and the workers they employ. As the leading national organization representing domestic producers through our manufacturing, agricultural, and labor members, we request that your administration use every trade, tax, and support policy at your disposal to ensure that U.S. solar manufacturers and workers continue investing in domestic solar supply chain capacity to achieve your emission reduction goals.
Several U.S. solar module manufacturers have ramped up production dramatically and cost effectively in the last three years because the Section 201 safeguard tariffs on solar module imports provided market certainty and investor confidence. Domestic module producers achieved a 10-year high in market share of 19.8% in 2019 after years of Chinese predation.
Despite the predictions of special interests advocating for subsidized Chinese imports, which are often produced with forced labor, the Section 201 solar tariffs have had no negative impact on the U.S. market for solar energy installations, which grew 43% in 2020. Solar installations are set to be more than 50% greater than they were expected to be prior to the implementation of the 201 tariffs in 2017.
This record setting pace of installations is continuing in 2021 with nearly 11 GWdc of solar coming online already, a number greater than most annual installation volumes from the past decade. The industry surpassed 3 million solar installations, the majority of which are residential. Industry experts are increasing their installation projections in the future.
We request that your administration set aggressive goals of increasing market share at all levels of the supply chain and craft the policy tools to achieve those goals. While current U.S. trade remedies dramatically raised domestic market share in solar modules, China continues to execute its industrial strategy plans to increase its dominance across the global solar supply chain.
Beijing’s focus upon dominance in renewable energy manufacturing has been dangerously successful, resulting in a 64% share of the polysilicon market, which is expected to rise to 75% by 2023. Even more worrying, the country has a chokehold on ingot and wafer production, with a 99% market share.
The Chinese have invested at least $47 billion in solar power since 2005, providing an incredibly large fraction of the profits of its top solar companies. These subsidies gutted the U.S. domestic industry, putting over 100 U.S. companies out of business, amounting to a loss of $10 billion in investment and thousands of jobs.
Chairman Xi and the Chinese Communist Party uses every tool available to produce these results, and so should your administration. We ask that you support U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s (D-GA) legislation aimed at providing tax credits for American manufacturers at every stage of the solar manufacturing supply chain, from production of polysilicon to solar cells to fully assembled solar modules.
Your administration should also ensure that power purchase agreements are conditioned upon buying power generated by American made solar modules or cells-on-modules that are Made in America. Providing incentives and prioritizing Buy American for solar will provide market certainty, greatly assisting this growing industry and ensuring its success for the long term. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had an amendment that took a similar approach during the Obama Administration. That effort should be revisited and included in any upcoming legislation.
Mr. President, you can help create hundreds of thousands of good paying manufacturing jobs and achieve your emissions goals by setting clear targets on increasing the U.S. domestic market share of this important sector and achieving those goals. We cannot and should not save the planet while aiding and abetting the genocide and forced labor integral to the Chinese solar supply chain.
We thank you for your commitment to these important issues.
Zach Mottl, Chairman Michael Stumo, CEO
Coalition for a Prosperous America Coalition for a Prosperous America