Earlier this week, the President announced a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and modules. Although this tariff presents a set of challenges to the American solar industry, we are confident that the growth of solar energy will remain strong in the months and years ahead.
The U.S. solar industry has seen tremendous growth throughout the last decade, thanks to a persistent desire by home, farm, and business owners to save money on their electric utilities. In fact, solar now employs more people than the coal, oil, and gas industries combined. At the end of 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that over 370,000 individuals earn their living through solar installation, design, and sales, in addition to other white and blue-collar positions.
Although the 30% tariff will affect the cost of imported solar cells and modules, the modules themselves represent just a portion of the overall cost of an installed solar project. The continuously-declining cost of other solar components, combined with decreases in solar permitting and other soft costs, means that the overall cost to install solar will not be dramatically affected.
Further, due to the indications of a potential tariff as early as May of 2017, StraightUp Solar has taken steps to ensure continued lean, stable, and effective operations by investing in our team and making bulk purchases of solar panels and equipment. Our strategies will assist in mitigating price increases to our customers and partners.
In addition to our preparation throughout 2017, StraightUp Solar’s long-running membership in the nationwide Amicus Solar Cooperative of local like-minded solar companies allows us to ensure a stable supply of solar modules throughout 2018.
StraightUp Solar will remain committed to our C.L.E.A.R.E. values as we continue to grow solar throughout the Illinois and Missouri markets. We look forward to bringing the benefits of clean, affordable energy to the Midwest.
Thank you to our community for believing in solar energy in Illinois and Missouri, and for choosing to work with a local B Corp in StraightUp Solar.
Shine on in 2018 and beyond,
Dane Glueck, M.D.
President & CEO, StraightUp Solar