Taiwan could use its own loophole to sidestep US solar tariffs

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The Taiwanese PV manufacturing sector could use the very same loophole that put it in the US government’s crosshairs, to sidestep the punitive duties now faced by its own firms.

SolarWorld Americas brought a second case to the US Department of Commerce after Chinese manufacturers used Taiwanese cells in order to avoid tariffs placed on them in 2012.

With the current case imposing tariffs on Taiwanese cells, module manufacturers there could begin importing cells from third party countries in order to avoid the fresh duties.

Module brand WINAICO, which assembles it products using third party cells has said it could follow this strategy.

In a statement released on Thursday it said:

“With more than three years of experience in the US solar industry, WINAICO sees the opportunity for Taiwan solar industry to relocate solar cell production overseas, while continue investing in module production in Taiwan. The combination of non-Taiwanese solar cells and Taiwan assembled PV modules is a way to sidestep the tariffs.

“WINAICO urges the Taiwan solar industry to follow suit in investing in the distribution channels as a win-win solution to bring the best solar solution to the US solar industry,” it continued.

The strategy was identified by Jason Huang an analyst with Taiwan-based EnergyTrend in December when the final Taiwanese rates were announced. He said that with US module prices expected to rise slightly in 2015, there was scope for Taiwanese modules to remain competitive with cells produced overseas.

The prospects for domestic Taiwanese cell production are not so bright.

Cell manufacturer Neo Solar Power said in August 2014 that it was evaluating options for overseas production expansion, confirming its contingency plans presented ealrier that year.

A spokesperson for NSP said that if the company purchased a completed building, it could have a production line running in 6-12 months.

“Currently we are still considering several countries and regions like South East Asia, the US, and Eastern Europe. Everything is still under survey and consideration,” she said.

“Apart from moving capacity overseas, to diversify the risk of the US anti-dumping issue, we now focus more on solar system investment expansion through our subsidiary, General Energy Solutions (GES). In the future, the solar system business expansion will increase NSP’s sales pipelines for solar cells and modules, create stable profits for NSP and become one of the key growth momentums for the company,” she added.

In an emailed statement to PV Tech, EnergyTrend analyst Corrine Lin said some Taiwanese cell capacity could be shuttered due to falling prices as production drifts to other countries.

“Taiwanese cell makers will now face another round of price slashing for their products following ITC’s vote. Mainstream Taiwanese multi-Si cell price will have a selling price at US$0.31/W, which is lower than the cost. So relocating their production lines to third countries is the most effective solution. For now, they are focusing on South-East Asia like Malaysia and Thailand. Those that have moved their production to third countries may expand further.

“The US market used to represent about half of Taiwan’s solar cell exports and most of the cell orders were shipped to China for module assembly and then transferred to the US,” added Lin. “Therefore, it will be hard to conduct market-shift in a short period of time. But in the near future, Taiwanese cell makers will start off with lowering their capacity utilization – if the price is lower than their cost – and trying to focus more on Japan, Europe, and the emerging markets,” said Lin.

23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.
7 April 2022
Solarex Istanbul, Turkey’s first and unique exhibition on solar energy, provides a huge opportunity to Turkey on the way to being a solar energy hub. Solarex Istanbul will take place on 7-9 April 2022 for the 14th time. It will be a commercial platform to have the latest technologies and combination of new products from all around the world. It takes place annually at Istanbul Expo Center, Turkey. It is also called the most important platform for manufacturers, suppliers and dealers of the solar industry in Eurasia.

Read Next

January 28, 2022
Greek industrial group Mytilineos said its renewables and storage unit continues with “full speed” to invest in solar and battery energy storage systems globally following a 2021 that saw the business expand its PV engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) operations.
January 28, 2022
Indian independent power producer (IPP) ReNew Power has sold its 117MW rooftop solar portfolio as part of a strategy to heighten its focus on utility-scale PV.  
January 28, 2022
Global investment in renewables rose to new heights in 2021 as solar and wind deployment surged, but total energy transition expenditure needs to triple in the coming years to get on track for net zero, according to new research from BloombergNEF.
January 28, 2022
LONGi has raised its wafer prices for a second time in just over a month as hopes of falling costs fade and China shuts down for a week for its annual Luna New Year holiday.
January 27, 2022
Renewables owner and operator Brookfield Renewable has tripled its US development pipeline to 31GW through the US$650 million acquisition of clean power developer Urban Grid.
January 27, 2022
Hecate Energy’s first stage application for a 500MW solar PV plant in the state of New York has been accepted by the newly formed New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES).

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
April 25, 2022
Berlin, Germany