A selection of testimonies from the hearing in Washington as the ITC gathered evidence to help it decide whether imports of solar cells and modules are the major contributing factor in any injury caused to domestic US manufacturers. We'll update this rolling list as more testimonies and reaction become available.
Matt Card, executive VP of commercial operations, Suniva:
“As a country, we will have ceded manufacturing of the next meaningful source of electrical generation to China and its proxies in Southeast Asia and other global outposts. As we continue to stress the needs of energy independence as a country, the US, in fact, will have no control of its own destiny when it comes to power generation from the sun.”
Matt Nicely, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, legal counsel, SEIA:
“Solar is an American success story, whose future remains bright. Its continued success could be destroyed by the misguided actions of the two Petitioners and their small group of supporters – whose workers represent less than 1% of all those that work for this dynamic American industry. That the two Petitioners would even bring this case demonstrates their poor business judgment – and their hubris. They seek a public remedy for their own, private failings.”
Stephen Shea, formerly vice president at Beamreach Solar:
“Beamreach was forced in Chapter 7 bankruptcy in large part because of the surge of low cost imports. Beamreach could not keep pace with the rapid reduction in prices driven by imports, first from China, then from countries like Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, etc. and the resulting glut of product quickly destroyed the profit margins.”
Representative Jason Saine (R-NC, 97th district):
“As a policymaker, every day I am faced with decisions that can create trade-offs, and therefore can create winners and losers in any industry. Imposing tariffs on imported modules is NOT the way to go about saving solar manufacturing. It is about providing a government handout to two companies that apparently couldn’t provide their customers with the specific kinds of products or sufficiently high-quality products they needed for their installations. As I understand you will hear today, if this petition is granted, it may save a few hundred cell or module manufacturing jobs, but there are many thousands of good manufacturing and installation jobs that will be lost.”
Edward Harner, COO at solar installer Green Solar Technologies:
“Because of the rapid rise in global cell and module imports, and their crushing impact on US solar producers, we have had no choice but to supply increasing amounts of foreign made panels.”
Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Georgia Public Service Commission:
"Many solar manufacturing companies have risen to the challenge of competing and are not looking to the government for protection. Instead they are innovating and investing in research and development. The companies that filed the Sec. 201 petition represent a minority of the marketplace. They’re here because their products are not economic and their business model is not competitive."
Image credit: SolarWorld.