Solar energy industry remains a bright spot amid Trump’s tariffs

Nearly one year after President Donald Trump slapped a 30 percent tariff on solar cells and modules, industry leaders said the tariffs have suppressed growth but aren’t hurting the industry as much as expected.

A report from the Solar Energy Industries Association, a nonprofit trade group representing the solar industry in Washington D.C., found that solar installations decreased 9 percent compared to last year.

“Without the tariffs, we would be growing,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president, and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “But ours is a story of suppressing our growth as opposed to stopping the growth.”

The 30 percent tariff will decrease by 5 percent each year until it’s at 15 percent in 2021.

The greatest cost to the industry, which employed more than 250,000 people last year, according to the Solar Jobs Census, maybe an opportunity.

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