President Trump has levied a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels and modules, in the name of helping American solar manufacturers. However, the move (as one would expect) would actually hurt the American solar industry. It would cut down on the number of installers needed to work with the panels and modules, leading to a loss of 23,000 jobs. There is also worry that it would lead to a decrease in use of solar power in general by making it more costly.
More details on the impact this tariff will have:
Tony Clifford, chief development officer for Standard Solar in Maryland, which finances projects and installs equipment, told the Washington Post (paywall):
“It boggles my mind that this president—any president, really—would voluntarily choose to damage one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy. This decision is misguided and denies the reality that bankrupt foreign companies will be the beneficiaries of an American taxpayer bailout.”
Environmentalists worry the tariffs will discourage people from using clean energy, hindering efforts to reduce carbon emissions. MJ Shiao, a researcher with solar-focused GTM Research, tweeted that the tariffs would add 10 to 15 cents per watt to the final installed price of solar panels, which would hurt projects on the cusp but not be “overly destructive” to installments overall.