Trump's Solar Tariffs Might Sting Texas, But Industry Is Optimistic

President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on cheap imported solar cells could slow Texas' solar growth. However, that isn't likely to change that sector's trajectory, industry officials said.Solar is still on the rise in Texas, they said, even if there are some projects that might not hit their financial targets now. The president agreed Monday with the U.S. International Trade Commission that solar cell imports were hurting some domestic manufacturers and set a 30 percent tariff."It's certainly not a help for the Texas solar industry or customers," said Charlie Hemmeline, executive director of the Texas Solar Power Association. "Customer demand might dip. There might be a slowdown in investments and jobs, but it's a resilient industry."The fear was that the tariff could slow down the pace of growth of solar energy's contribution to Texas' electricity grid. In the third quarter of 2017, Texas added 227 megawatts of solar capacity, the most after Nevada and North Carolina. While opposed broadly and loudly by the solar industry, the tariff was not as high as initially estimated. The commission had proposed a 35 percent tariff, but Trump could have set the level higher.  Continue reading...

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