Why the US decision on solar panels could hit Europe and Asia hard

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on solar panel imports is a blow to a booming global industry, and hit stocks in European and Asian solar groups on fears their business might suffer.

Although the move was intended to help American manufacturers, some in the sector said it would slow U.S. investment in solar power and cost thousands of U.S. jobs.

Trump on Monday approved a 30 percent tariff on solar cell and module imports, dropping to 15 percent within four years. Up to 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of unassembled solar cells can be imported tariff-free in each year.

The news sent SMA Solar, Germany’s largest solar group, which makes 46 percent of its sales in the Americas, down 4.6 percent to a four-week low, while Norway’s REC Silicon shed 1.2 percent.

German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier said the cost of solar products in the U.S. was likely to increase, and that Berlin would discuss the matter with Washington.

The U.S. has the world’s fourth-largest solar capacity after China, Japan and Germany. Globally, solar capacity soared to almost 400 GW last year from under 10 GW in 2007, according to the International Renewable Energy Administration.

The U.S.-based Solar Energy Industries Association said the decision could cause the loss of around 23,000 U.S. jobs this year, and result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments.

Credit : Reuters/World Economic Forum

Profile photo of Nana Asante Posted by on Monday, February 5th, 2018. Filed under Business, Top Stories, World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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