Tariffs on Solar Energy Cells and Panels Announced

Tariffs on imported energy cells and panels were announced on January 22. The tariff is to be imposed for the next four years, beginning at 30% and decreasing gradually to 15%. The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the tariff, in which the exemption is designed to allow existing solar module manufacturers access to cheap cells. This will give some flexibility so as not to hurt existing projects. The impact going forward is less clear.

The announcement of these tariffs is welcomed by the companies that sought them, but economists warn this could drive up prices for consumers. Additionally, companies that develop large solar farms, as well as purchasers of solar power, opposed the tariffs on the basis that tariffs would make solar power less competitive with other energy sources. While there are arguments on both sides as to the benefit of these tariffs, only time will tell what to expect from the true impact on solar manufacturing and installation.

About the Author:
Dana Apfelbaum practices in the areas of federal income, estate, and gift tax law and family business succession planning. She counsels individuals in estate planning, with an emphasis on implementing the client’s objectives, asset protection and minimizing wealth transfer taxes. Ms. Apfelbaum also represents fiduciaries through all stages of probate, estate and trust administration. In addition, she represents businesses and business owners in all types of business and tax matters, including choice of entity, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, other general business matters, and succession planning. She is a member of Dean Mead’s Solar Energy Industry Team. She may be reached at dapfelbaum@www.deanmead.com.