Miami Herald: Sunshine State solar slowdown: Installers scrambling for panels, big projects delayed

May 25, 2022 Media

Florida solar installers are scrambling for panels amid a nationwide market slowdown, and some are turning to older, less efficient models to get the job done. The utility with the nation’s biggest solar and wind investments, NextEra Energy, said up to three-quarters of its 2022 solar projects could be delayed until at least next year. The CEO of its subsidiary, Florida Power & Light, said the utility can’t find anyone in the U.S. willing to sell them more panels.

Lori Wallach, the director of the ReThink Trade program at the American Economic Liberties Project, a group that supports the investigation, believes the actual financial threat is limited and the industry reaction overblown. She said only a few importers have ever been hit with tariffs as high as 100% or 200%, and they were wholly owned and operated by the Chinese government. She argued that the tariffs work exactly as intended, and any new ones from the investigation would help the domestic market.

“It’s basically just taking the thumb off the scale for domestic producers,” she said. “If you are a company with a 220% tariff, we want to price you out of the market.”

Wallach also questioned why producers who knew they weren’t doing anything wrong would be afraid of the tariffs, which have been in place for a decade.