Tariffs On Solar PV Modules Crippling The US Market....


Jim Duncan
 

Auxin Solar: A look at the mysterious
company causing a big trade mess

Auxin’s petition has triggered the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider imposing tariffs on solar panels imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, based on claims that Chinese manufacturers are funneling their wares through those countries to evade existing tariffs.

Auxin Solar has the capacity to produce only a few megawatts of solar panels per year in its current configuration and is performing much of the manufacturing work by hand. That stands in sharp contrast with Tier 1 module manufacturers, whose large factories are highly automated.

https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/solar/auxin-solar-a-look-at-the-mysterious-company-causing-a-big-trade-mess

Jim Duncan
Solar Acres Farm
817.917.0527
solarguy2004@...


Jack Smith
 

Additional coverage by Power Engineering starting May 9th.

"Factor This!, a new podcast designed specifically for the solar industry, is launching on May 9th with an in-depth, four-part series on the contentious Auxin Solar tariff petition. The first episode debuts with an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with Auxin Solar CEO Mamun Rashid.

The U.S. solar industry has come to a halt over Auxin Solar’s request to the Dept. of Commerce to investigate whether solar modules imported from Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are skirting trade actions against China.

Solar trade groups estimate that 16 GW of projects are in jeopardy, threatening thousands of jobs and climate goals. The Factor This! interview with Rashid is his first extensive interview since filing the anti-dumping and countervailing duties petition, which Commerce is now investigating.

In addition to Rashid, the Factor This! Auxin Solar tariff petition series will feature interviews with Lightsource bp Americas CEO Kevin Smith, Intersect Power CEO Sheldon Kimber, American Clean Power Association CEO Heather Zichal, Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk, Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance Executive Director Michael Parr, and many more industry leaders."

https://www.power-eng.com/solar/factor-this-podcast-launches-with-deep-dive-into-solar-tariff-petition/


Mark Witte
 

The most troubling aspect of the entire charade is how one tiny company can severely damage a large industry simply by filing a petition with the federal government. The damage is so out of proportion with the company which filed the petition that it makes me wonder if it is a false flag operation by the fossil fuel industry. Even if it isn't, you can safely bet your last dollar that the fossil fuel industry is closely watching what is transpiring, and is considering how to possibly work with other companies in the future to again kneecap the solar and/or wind energy industries. 

Mark Witte   

On Saturday, May 7, 2022, 02:20:07 PM CDT, Jack Smith via groups.io <bluesguy53@...> wrote:


Additional coverage by Power Engineering starting May 9th.

"Factor This!, a new podcast designed specifically for the solar industry, is launching on May 9th with an in-depth, four-part series on the contentious Auxin Solar tariff petition. The first episode debuts with an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with Auxin Solar CEO Mamun Rashid.

The U.S. solar industry has come to a halt over Auxin Solar’s request to the Dept. of Commerce to investigate whether solar modules imported from Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are skirting trade actions against China.

Solar trade groups estimate that 16 GW of projects are in jeopardy, threatening thousands of jobs and climate goals. The Factor This! interview with Rashid is his first extensive interview since filing the anti-dumping and countervailing duties petition, which Commerce is now investigating.

In addition to Rashid, the Factor This! Auxin Solar tariff petition series will feature interviews with Lightsource bp Americas CEO Kevin Smith, Intersect Power CEO Sheldon Kimber, American Clean Power Association CEO Heather Zichal, Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk, Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance Executive Director Michael Parr, and many more industry leaders."

https://www.power-eng.com/solar/factor-this-podcast-launches-with-deep-dive-into-solar-tariff-petition/


Jack Smith
 

Hi Mark,

What I can't get my head around is that we sat on our hands for 15 years while the Chinese built out their renewable energy sector. I'm not sure we will ever catch up in either production or price. We might have a shot with storage but that will depend on a technology breakthrough. The magic tipping point will be around $20/KWh for long duration stationary batteries. Can we do it? For 5 years running China has lead the world in new patents. I'm not hopeful.


Mark Witte
 

Jack,

We didn't just sit on our hands, we actively helped foreign countries take over the manufacturing / production in industries the U.S. once had a significant lead. Steel, TVs, car parts, pharmaceuticals (the thought of off-shoring critical, life-saving pharmaceuticals is especially idiotic) and other industries, were all neatly bundled up and handed to foreign companies / countries. 

How did it happen? Years ago, the large, multi-national, US-based companies wanted to take advantage of the lower wages, lax environmental laws and non-existent safety rules in other countries. But they didn't want to have to actually incur the costs of off-shoring manufacturing / production. So they successfully prevailed on Congress to pass laws that gave them tax breaks for off-shoring manufacturing / production.  So we, as taxpayers, were given the gift of subsidizing the off-shoring of manufacturing / production for many US industries. 

Makes you feel better about it, doesn't it?

Mark   

On Monday, May 9, 2022, 08:39:02 AM CDT, Jack Smith via groups.io <bluesguy53@...> wrote:


Hi Mark,

What I can't get my head around is that we sat on our hands for 15 years while the Chinese built out their renewable energy sector. I'm not sure we will ever catch up in either production or price. We might have a shot with storage but that will depend on a technology breakthrough. The magic tipping point will be around $20/KWh for long duration stationary batteries. Can we do it? For 5 years running China has lead the world in new patents. I'm not hopeful.


Jack Smith
 

The first time we had tariffs on solar panels I think I remember First Solar (thin film, toxic, low performance) was one of the pro-tariff US companies. https://www.pv-magazine.com/magazine-archive/the-recall_10002728/ It was just a few months later the Obama administration slapped on the first Chinese solar tariffs. Haven't seen them complain about this latest tariff either.

We have been running a quasi-colonial empire model since the end of the cold war. Petrodollar hegemony allowed us to import deflation and mask internal weakness in manufacturing and education. As long as the 3 legs of the pedestal (military, financial and technology) were strong we could dominate world markets - that's about to end I'm afraid. The pandemic was the tipping point, a test on each nation to rally to defend their citizens and economies. The US (with the #1 health system) struggled to deal with multiple missteps and failed badly with respect to education in particular. The ongoing collapse of the schools combined with the pandemic baby bust is troubling and forbidding.

For at least the 5th. year in a row China has led the world in new patents.

My philosophy:

"Science is a thought process, technology will change reality and politics is how you rationalize the change."

But hey, I'm still hopeful I will outlive my solar panels!

Jack

 


David Geise
 


David Geise

“Adults keep saying: ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope.’ But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel everyday. And then I want you to act as if your house is on fire. Because it is.”  
– Greta Thunberg

“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.” 
- Carl Sagan

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. “ 
- Thomas Edison

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little” - Franklin D. Roosevelt


On Mon, May 9, 2022 at 11:28 AM Jack Smith via groups.io <bluesguy53=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

The first time we had tariffs on solar panels I think I remember First Solar (thin film, toxic, low performance) was one of the pro-tariff US companies. https://www.pv-magazine.com/magazine-archive/the-recall_10002728/ It was just a few months later the Obama administration slapped on the first Chinese solar tariffs. Haven't seen them complain about this latest tariff either.

We have been running a quasi-colonial empire model since the end of the cold war. Petrodollar hegemony allowed us to import deflation and mask internal weakness in manufacturing and education. As long as the 3 legs of the pedestal (military, financial and technology) were strong we could dominate world markets - that's about to end I'm afraid. The pandemic was the tipping point, a test on each nation to rally to defend their citizens and economies. The US (with the #1 health system) struggled to deal with multiple missteps and failed badly with respect to education in particular. The ongoing collapse of the schools combined with the pandemic baby bust is troubling and forbidding.

For at least the 5th. year in a row China has led the world in new patents.

My philosophy:

"Science is a thought process, technology will change reality and politics is how you rationalize the change."

But hey, I'm still hopeful I will outlive my solar panels!

Jack

 


Jack Smith
 

Thanks for the correction and the link. It's a common American misconception that having the most EXPENSIVE healthcare system in the world surly means it's also the best. I knew better because that was one of the reasons they pushed the ACA (a old Heritage Foundation scheme AKA RommnyCare that was used to stop Hillary Clinton's 1992 healthcare plan). Should have gone with a single payer option.


R. Michael Martin
 

If/when we decide as a country to make everyday decisions that balance communal/social good with good business, then we’ll have have quality and security...


On May 9, 2022, at 12:48, David Geise via groups.io <geise@...> wrote:


David Geise

“Adults keep saying: ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope.’ But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel everyday. And then I want you to act as if your house is on fire. Because it is.”  
– Greta Thunberg

“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.” 
- Carl Sagan

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. “ 
- Thomas Edison

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little” - Franklin D. Roosevelt


On Mon, May 9, 2022 at 11:28 AM Jack Smith via groups.io <bluesguy53=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

The first time we had tariffs on solar panels I think I remember First Solar (thin film, toxic, low performance) was one of the pro-tariff US companies. https://www.pv-magazine.com/magazine-archive/the-recall_10002728/ It was just a few months later the Obama administration slapped on the first Chinese solar tariffs. Haven't seen them complain about this latest tariff either.

We have been running a quasi-colonial empire model since the end of the cold war. Petrodollar hegemony allowed us to import deflation and mask internal weakness in manufacturing and education. As long as the 3 legs of the pedestal (military, financial and technology) were strong we could dominate world markets - that's about to end I'm afraid. The pandemic was the tipping point, a test on each nation to rally to defend their citizens and economies. The US (with the #1 health system) struggled to deal with multiple missteps and failed badly with respect to education in particular. The ongoing collapse of the schools combined with the pandemic baby bust is troubling and forbidding.

For at least the 5th. year in a row China has led the world in new patents.

My philosophy:

"Science is a thought process, technology will change reality and politics is how you rationalize the change."

But hey, I'm still hopeful I will outlive my solar panels!

Jack

 




Jack Smith
 

Jim,

Once you listen to the Power Engineering podcast it does a more even-handed treatment of the reasons behind the Auxin Solar Chinese solar tariffs than the Canary Media story did. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. I feel for the little guy but if he wins we will see very little production moved to the US.

I gave up on renewable energy being able to save the climate years ago because when the SHTF we will geoengineer the planet because it's cheaper and faster. My money is on ocean iron fertilization. See the new book by Peter Fiekowsky “Climate Restoration".

Daniel Kahneman of "Thinking Fast and Slow", sums it up nicely:

"First, it lacks salience. It is too “abstract, distant, invisible and disputed” to capture our attention. Without attention, there is no action.

Second, dealing with climate change is typically thought to require people to accept short-term costs and reductions on living standard in order to address higher but uncertain future losses. Such sacrifice is not in our nature. 

Third, climate change seems uncertain and contested—“even if there is a National Academy on one side and some cranks on the other.”


Jack Smith
 
Edited

Found this deep dive into the Auxin Solar tariff saga:

https://segueinfra.com/articles/auxins-immediate-impact-by-the-numbers

"I hereby predict ~70 GW of casualties attributable to Auxin, assuming no dramatic deviation from current course.  For context, ~26 GW was installed in the US in 2021."

 

I would note a few other concerns; One of the biggest headwinds for renewable energy projects is their heavy dependence on long term financing which is a function of interest rates which are rising rapidly. Second, the sharp decline in future solar deployment is only compounded by what may happen if the house and senate flip to 'R' later this year. Third, the ongoing erosion of Net Metering buyback rates will increase the payback period. There may be a few positive offsets. Rapid adoption of EVs will lead to some additional demand for residential solar and higher electric prices from the electric utilities due to a tripling of Fossil Fuel prices should make PV more competitive on paper. 


Jack Smith
 

There are legitimate reasons to levy tariffs on foreign manufactures but some of the players in this dispute seem to have ulterior motives.

More background information on the current solar tariff litigation:

"Wall Street firms appear to be using trade petitions as leverage for investment returns under the guise of American manufacturing"

https://www.exposeauxin.com/post/wall-street-s-solar-squeeze

 


Jack Smith
 

It's escalating to the largest manufactures.

"U.S. government solar panel probe adds more Asian companies (May 16, 2022 5:22 PM ET)

JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS) and Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) are among eight solar panel manufacturers (NYSEARCA:TAN) that are required by the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide further information about their operations as part of the agency's ongoing investigation on whether they are evading U.S. tariffs on China-made solar products.

The probe also includes Longi Green Energy Technology, the world's largest solar company by market capitalization, Trina Solar and Hanwha Q CELLS.

If the government probe finds evidence of circumvention, tariffs on cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam could be set at 50%-250% and be applied retroactively, potentially coming into effect from November 2021, which is causing widespread module sourcing challenges."

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3839629-us-government-solar-panel-probe-adds-more-asian-companies


Philip Timmons
 

Yeah -- hit this for you the other day . . .  dunno if it went through or not . . . . 

On Monday, May 16, 2022, 05:41:18 PM CDT, Jack Smith via groups.io <bluesguy53@...> wrote:


There are legitimate reasons to levy tariffs on foreign manufactures but some of the players in this dispute seem to have ulterior motives.

More background information on the current solar tariff litigation:

"Wall Street firms appear to be using trade petitions as leverage for investment returns under the guise of American manufacturing"

https://www.exposeauxin.com/post/wall-street-s-solar-squeeze