First of all, I just want to say a quick apology for the distinct lack of posts in the past 3 days, a detour from my usual every other day/daily posts. Basically, university work is to blame for it; dissertation has finally been handed in but two more exams sit lurking in front of me, so I’ll likely be taking a bit of a downtime between each post, but do not worry (if you even read this blog, I love you if you do), I’ll be back on form and free in two weeks time.
Now that that’s out of the way, onto the subject of todays post - those pesky Chinese and the apparent trade war between their solar capacity and the US. I wrote a blog on this relatively recently detailing why the Chinese were being scorned for their solar trade practice, and why even back then I felt it was a bad idea for everyone involved.
I’ll quickly recap just to jog my own and any reader’s memories.
The US found out that the Chinese government had been quite heavily subsidising their solar industry, namely SunTech, in a move to make their solar panels cheaper to make, easier to ship and to effectively flood the global market. As the US doesn’t like competition they see as unfair, they set about placing tariffs on the Chinese market to the tune of as much as 4.3%, to alleviate the apparently anti-trade practices.
When I initially blogged about this, I, and I’m sure many others thought that the whole thing was a mess, and entirely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. Chinese solar is good, and theres nothing we can do about it. If they can manage to flood the market with quality solar panels at cheap prices and in abundant amounts, why should the US stifle this growth in place of its more expensive types? Surely as long as the world is getting solar, from multiple other countries aside from the US and China, everyone is a winner? Well that was my thinking at the time at least.
Now it has been revealed that, the night before the tariff decision was made on Monday, the American organisation, the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), has called for all seven members of the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) to release their own books on the subsidies, tax breaks and government help they have received in their time. This is a truly inspired move, with the president of CASE, Jigar Shah, highlighting how the original Chinese-US tariff war demanded clarity on Chinese solar, and yet there was no clarity with US-owned companies. By ordering the release of such information, the true story unravelled quickly.