Solar Energy

What is the state of the Solar industry and modules entering the US market?

“If the planet were a patient, we would have treated her long ago. You, ladies and gentlemen, have the power to put her on life support, and you must surely start the emergency procedures without further procrastination.”

“Humanity faces many threats but none is greater than climate change.” he said. “In damaging our climate we are becoming the architects of our own destruction. We have the knowledge, the tools and the money (to solve the crisis).”

-King Charlies of UK

What is the state of the Solar industry and modules entering the US market?

Discover the climate change dilemma

After the initial customs holding about two years ago, until about the last six months, US customs was not holding modules at the port and placing them in customs hold. It is happening again in the market. The biggest question is, are bad actors still buying polysilicon from the stated slave labor camps the federal government has banned?

Unicorn Solar is a free-market company that prefers to let the market decide the pricing. Although we also agree with the ban on using slave labor camps to produce anything. The history of the US is already stained by slavery, and we should be more sensitive to the subject than potentially any other nation worldwide.

I was recently in Paris, and it reminded me that the US would probably not have existed without France. America has a tremendous and storied history. We have been good at facing issues and correcting our wrongs. On first look, this last sentence has no relevance to the solar industry. Yet I see it parallels the strife of the solar industry in that we have fought to stay alive as an industry.

Since 2005, I had my first installation company, and the light towards a solar world was dim. Only the first adaptors with money could afford solar at about $8-10 dollars a watt. In CA, a $4.50-a-watt incentive was reduced to $2.50 sometime around 2006 mid-year. Incentives have come and gone in locations and come back. Along the way, there were financing issues until banks figured out solar was a superb investment.

We had poly pricing issues disrupting a pricing decline accelerated by the Chinese entering the module manufacturing space. Adding tariffs to so-called equalizes the playing field for US companies, but little support to keep solar manufacturing in the US by the federal government. China saw the gap, and the government supported manufacturing growth. On and on the list goes on, all the battles we have had to fight. I am in my 18th year, and it is a dream come true from the early days.

The big question is, do we achieve the goal of 30-50% of our energy coming from solar? Also, is the remaining coming from another renewable source? This is to be determined, but I place my life and livelihood on us getting there.

Right now, we have two battles. Control the poly from having a slave labor stain and the treasury assisting with US manufacturing by doing a step-up program where we can start with the IRA giving US assembly a benefit designation. Then, step up the period when the US could add solar glass, wafers, cells, backsheets, and other components to US manufacturing and assist with building US manufacturing.

RE+/SPI 2023
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