Biden declares an energy emergency to be able to import solar panels from Southeast Asia

No charges for solar modules and components imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam

[7 Giugno 2022]

With an official note from the White House, US President Joe Biden recalled that “Electricity is an essential part of modern life that drives homes, businesses and industry. It is vital for the functioning of large sectors of the economy, including hospitals. , schools, public transport systems and the defense industry. Even isolated power outages can have catastrophic health and economic consequences. A robust and reliable electricity system is therefore not only a basic human necessity but it is also fundamental to national security and national defense. And in this perspective, marked by the increasingly bitter confrontation with Russia and China, the White House emphasizes that “Several factors threaten the United States’ ability to supply sufficient electricity production to meet customer demand. These factors include disruptions in energy markets caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change calling. For example, drought conditions associated with heat waves in some parts of the country simultaneously cause an expected shortage of electricity supply and record-breaking demand for electricity. As a result, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, in their most recent summer reliability assessments, have both warned of short-term problems with electricity reliability. To ensure the adequacy of electricity resources, public services and network operators need to plan in advance to build new capacity now to meet customers’ expected demand.

Biden points out that “Solar energy is among the fastest growing new generation electricity sources in the United States. Utilities and grid operators are increasingly dependent on new photovoltaic installations to ensure that there are sufficient resources on the grid to maintain reliable service. The supply of solar and battery capacity is expected to account for more than half of the new capacity in the electricity sector in 2022 and 2023. Lack of availability of solar cells and modules jeopardizes these planned additions, which in turn threatens the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet the demand, .

However, in recent years, the vast majority of solar panels installed in the United States have been imported, and panels imported from Southeast Asia accounted for about three-quarters of the modules imported in 2020. However, the United States has recently not been able to do so. to import solar panels in sufficient quantities to ensure the increased production of solar energy needed to meet the climate and clean energy goals, to ensure the adequacy of the grid’s resources and to help combat rising energy prices. “This severe shortage of solar modules and module components has suddenly jeopardized the addition of short-term solar energy, which could otherwise have the potential to help ensure adequate electricity production to meet customer demand.” The White House – . About half of the national use of solar modules planned for next year is currently at risk due to insufficient supply. Throughout the country, solar cell projects are postponed or canceled ».

As such, the U.S. federal government is working with industry to promote the expansion of U.S.-made solar cell production capacity, including the ability to produce modules and other components in the solar energy supply chain, but building that capacity will take time. and for Biden “Immediate action is needed to ensure in the meantime that the United States has access to an adequate supply of photovoltaic modules to help meet our needs for electricity generation.” For this reason, the US President used the authority given to him by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, declaring “the existence of an emergency with regard to the threats to the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet the expected customer requirements” and In response to this emergency, he ordered the Minister of Trade to consider measures to remove tariffs on modules and solar cells imported into the United States “from the Kingdom of Cambodia, Malaysia, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which are not already subject to anti-dumping or anti-dumping countervailing duty order on the date of this proclamation and to temporarily extend the time required therein for the performance of any action relating to such imports in the event of an emergency. , which together with the United States has to do with demonstrations of military muscles in Taiwan and in the South and East China Seas.

A decision that pleases the Sierra Club, the largest, most authoritative and widespread American environmental organization, whose Deputy Legislative Director, Matthew Bearzotti, commented:The Sierra Club praises President Biden for taking the necessary steps to support the solar industry, the 230,000 Americans who work there, and our national climate goals. While this action will provide a desperately needed measure of security in the solar energy supply chain and allay some concerns, today’s efforts do not end the issue that is crucial to minimizing the effects of the ongoing solar study, which has already led to layoffs, halted construction. new solar energy projects and a delay in the withdrawal of coal plants. Now, Commerce Secretary Raimondo must prioritize completing a fact-based investigation as soon as possible while the administration continues to inaugurate the clean energy economy.

Bearzotti refers to the investigation launched in late March by the US Department of Commerce on the basis of a petition requesting a review of imports of solar panels produced by companies operating in Southeast Asia and the Sierra Club warned , “the administration’s decision Biden’s approval of this request will have an immediate effect on nearly 80 percent of U.S. crystalline silicon modules shipped from the region, creating nationwide ramifications of the 230,000 Americans working in the solar cell industry.

Biden has apparently patched it up by declaring the energy emergency to be able to import the solar panels that the United States urgently needs.

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