SolarWorld Americas agreed with Suniva on MIP levels of US$0.25 per watt on imported solar cells and US$0.32 per watt on modules starting in 2018 and running for four years. Image: SolarWorld
SolarWorld Americas has highlighted its remedial policies to the US ITC Section 201 case that include not only a minimum import price (MIP) but a total import limit of solar cells and modules at levels around half the demand in the US in 2017.
SolarWorld Americas agreed with Suniva on MIP levels of US$0.25 per watt on imported solar cells and US$0.32 per watt on modules starting in 2018 and running for four years. Suniva is not suggesting a total import limit, just the new cell and module tariff structure.
However, SolarWorld Americas went further than Suniva by suggesting to the ITC that that a cap on module imports of 5.7GW in 2018, while solar cell imports should be capped at 220MW. These import figures would gradually be raised over the four years of the injury case to US manufacturers.
The company claimed that such import caps would also drive increased foreign investment by incentivizing manufacturing in the US with foreign firms establishing both cell and module production, while giving domestic manufacturers the ability to compete and also invest in capacity expansions.
The proposed remedy to the ITC was claimed by the company to create a minimum of 35,000 jobs across the supply chain and almost 10,000 jobs in the upstream manufacturing sector.
SolarWorld Industries did not like the recommendation of the ITC to exempt Canada and Singapore from the injury claims, fearing that these countries could become home to new manufacturing intended to simply circumvent new tariffs and import caps. The company requested to the ITC that it included policies that address their concerns.
The US utility-scale sector alone installed around 10GW of solar in 2016. Current c-Si cell capacity in the US to support module production is only around 900MW.
The rational for SolarWorld Industries cap on solar module imports rests with several key assumptions. The company assumes foreign manufacturers would be compelled to establish cell and module production in the US and that Tesla would have ramped to 2GW of in-house cell and module capacity at its New York facility by the end of 2019.