WASHINGTON DC—MAREC Action issued the following statement in support of President Biden’s decision this morning to delay implementation of tariffs on imported solar PV cells and modules:
“MAREC Action applauds President Biden’s decisive action to protect American solar energy development and construction jobs. This morning’s executive action protects solar development from tariffs on imported solar modules that could result from the undecided solar inquiry before the U.S. Department of Commerce. Solar power is the single largest source of new electricity generation in advanced stages of development on the Mid-Atlantic PJM grid, making the President’s decision particularly important to our region’s continued expansion of affordable, clean, and domestically sourced energy.” – Bruce Burcat, Executive Director, MAREC Action.
In total, there are over 10,300 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar projects in advanced stages development in states that participate in the PJM grid, with tens of thousands of additional MW of projects in earlier stages of development. These projects collectively represent thousands of American jobs in operations and construction, pay millions of dollars annually to landowners and local governments, and will help stabilize electricity prices for consumers feeling the costs of inflation.
Presently, a large quantity of solar panels used globally are sourced from Southeast Asian nations including Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Auxin Solar, a small-scale panel manufacturer based in California, recently petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department to impose new tariffs on solar modules imported from those countries. Notably, U.S. solar panel manufacturing capacity alone is presently insufficient to meet the demands of the growing industry. Though the inquiry has yet to be resolved, uncertainty resulting from the magnitude of these potential tariffs has already cooled U.S. solar development.
If President Biden had not taken action to shield American solar development from the threat of tariffs imposed by the Auxin inquiry, solar energy expansion in PJM and across the U.S. would have suffered a major downturn measured in lost jobs and private investment. Along with the emergency relief from potential solar tariffs, President Biden authorized use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies, including solar panel parts as a bridge to scale up U.S. manufacturing.
MAREC Action (MAREC informally stands for “Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition”) is a 501.c4 non-profit dedicated to the growth of renewable energy technologies that improve our environment, diversify our electricity generation portfolio, and boost economic development in the PJM grid region. Our mission is to improve and enhance the opportunities for renewable energy development in ten jurisdictions in the PJM region in and around the Mid-Atlantic, specifically: Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. We provide education and expertise on the economic benefits and environmental sustainability of wind and solar energy; offer technical expertise and advice on operating and integrating wind and solar into the electrical power system; and promote fair policies, rules and regulations to expand the region’s electric transmission system to accommodate the growth of renewable energy usage.