US Senators Ossof and Warnock urge Biden administration to lift bifacial solar module exemption

In a letter to the US president, senators Jon Ossof and Reverend Raphael Warnock said bifacial modules account for nearly 90% of PV module imports. Image: Image: Pixabay.

US Senators Jon Ossof and Reverend Raphael Warnock have urged the Biden administration to support the domestic solar manufacturing industry by lifting an ongoing tariff exemption on bifacial modules.

In a letter written to US President Joe Biden, the senators urged Biden to remove the exemption for bifacial modules, which account for nearly 90% of PV module imports. “Removing this exemption would alleviate pricing pressure and bolster the growth of an important US industry,” reads the letter.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Earlier this month, the two senators pressed the Biden Administration to take action and eliminate the tariff exemption for bifacial modules under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 in order to increase the competitive advantage of US-made bifacial module manufacturers. The senators highlighted a recent report from the US International Trade Commission, which determined that US imports of bifacial modules doubled between 2020 and 2022.

This follows demands from four US senators – including Ossof and Warnock along with Sherrod Brown and Marco Rubio – to increase tariffs on Chinese-made PV modules, cells and wafer imports.

Strengthen domestic supply chain of solar PV components

The Solar Energy Manufacturers for America (SEMA) Coalition called for a “strengthening [of] the domestic supply chain to produce solar components” last week, after publishing a report into the US’ reliance on Chinese-made modules. The report highlighted supply gaps in domestic production of modules, wafers and cells. The issue was also highlighted in a guest article for PV Tech last December by advisory body, Clean Energy Associates, in which it wrote that the US was facing an imbalance of domestic module capacity versus cells.

“The solar manufacturing industry is at a crucial turning point, spurred by incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. During the final two years of the 201 tariffs, it is essential that their implementation supports the growing US solar manufacturing industry, which is critical to our nation’s energy security and energy independence from China,” Ossoff and Warnock wrote. “In Georgia, companies have already invested over $2.98 billion in solar manufacturing, projecting thousands of new clean energy jobs to our states.”

This latest request from senators Ossof and Warnock echoes recent comments from cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film solar manufacturer First Solar’s CEO, Mark Widmar, ina US Senate Finance Committee. Widmar said that the US solar manufacturing industry “remains in a precarious position, despite the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)”.

The full letter from US senators Ossof and Warnock to US President Joe Biden can be read here.

21 May 2024
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 21-22 May 2024, will be our third PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2025 and beyond.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 1, 2024
Dallas, Texas
Solar Media Events
May 21, 2024
Sydney, Australia