U.S. solar installations fell in the third quarter of 2022 and are projected to fall by nearly 25% in comparison to 2021 after the Biden administration began blocking Chinese solar imports from Xinjiang, a region where Uyghur Muslims are allegedly being forced to work, according to a Tuesday report.
The U.S. installed 4.6 GW of solar capacity in the third quarter of 2022, a 17% decrease from 2021’s third quarter and a 2% decrease from the second quarter of 2022 as the government continues to impound Chinese solar panel products under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), according to a Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie report. The act, which Congress passed in December 2021, bans imports from Xinjiang due to the allegations that Uyghurs are forced to manufacture polysilicon, a key input in solar panels, exacerbating supply chain constraints and meaning that the total number of solar installations in 2022 is projected to decline by 23% compared to 2021 levels. (RELATED: GOP Lawmakers Call For ‘Investigation’ Into Chinese Firm’s Potential Stake In Key Nevada Lithium Mine)
America’s clean energy economy hindered by its own trade actions,” SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement. “The solar and storage industry is acting decisively to build an ethical supply chain, but unnecessary supply bottlenecks and trade restrictions are preventing manufacturers from getting the equipment they need to invest in U.S. facilities.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection requires American businesses to prove that their solar products do not come from Xinjiang, meaning that shipments from Chinese solar panel suppliers have been delayed or sent back altogether, The Wall Street Journal reported in August.
China dominates solar panel manufacturing and is responsible for 80% of polysilicon production, according to an International Energy Agency report. In June, President Joe Biden waived tariffs designed to protect domestic businesses from unfair competition in order to get more Chinese solar panels on the market and accelerate his “clean energy” transition.
The Biden administration wants to generate all of the country’s electricity from green energy, such as solar or wind power, by 2035, up from just 40% in 2020. To achieve this objective, the yearly rate of solar installations may need to more than double, according to the Energy Department.
The Democrats’ climate spending bill gives billions in subsidies and tax credits to help expand domestic solar panel manufacturing.
The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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