GA Solar Statement on Solar Tariffs

January 23, 2018

Julie Hairston, Communications Director
[email protected]

Georgia Solar Energy Association Chair Don Moreland Statement on Solar Tariffs

Atlanta, GA – Don Moreland, chair of the Georgia Solar Energy Association, has released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported solar cells and panels:

“While these erroneous tariffs may cause short-term headwinds to Georgia’s thriving solar industry, it will only strengthen our resolve to continue moving forward into a clean energy future.” 

“Those of us who have been around a while know that in the grand scheme of things, the local solar industry is extraordinarily resilient among changing market conditions and enterprising enough to create market-based solutions to overcome policy barriers."

“In the coming months and years, GA Solar will work tirelessly in coordination with fellow solar policy stakeholders to educate local policy makers on the effects this tariff will have on Georgia’s economy and support policy efforts to mitigate any damage this booming, local, homegrown industry may experience as a result."


President Donald Trump will impose tariffs on imported solar panels and cells as a result of the recommendation of the International Trade Commission in its decision on a case filed by Suniva. There is some uncertainty regarding whether any exemptions apply, such as country origin. We will continue to report updates as they become available. The trade tariff is expected to go into effect Feb. 6th. The chart below shows the tariffs by year and applied exemptions:


Quote from announcement by U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer: “The relief will include a tariff of 30 percent in the first year, 25 percent in the second year, 20 percent in the third year, and 15 percent in the fourth year.  Additionally, the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the safeguard tariff in each of those four years.”

 A delegation of solar professionals from Georgia travelled to Washington to provide our Georgia congressional delegation with information on the negative effects tariffs would have on solar industry investment and employment in the state. Georgia Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald testified against the imposition of tariffs at the ITC hearing last summer.

Expected Impact: Solar is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and Georgia. Georgia currently ranks 3rd nationally in solar deployment with 4,000 jobs and over $2 billion of investment in the state over the last three years.


While it is yet to be determined exactly how these tariffs will impact the Georgia market, they will undoubtedly slow the growth of what has been a booming industry, especially in its price-sensitive utility-scale market. Georgia Power is set to release its next wave of renewable energy procurements in 2018 and 2019. This tariff will impact its ability to meet the obligations under its agreement with the Georgia Public Service Commission to deliver these resources to the state’s energy portfolio. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates 23,000 jobs will be lost nationally.


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