The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Solar Company's Petition to Close Industry Loophole Continues Debate Between U.S. and China
A California solar energy system manufacturer has petitioned the nation's commerce and commission departments to impose rules that could eventually block Chinese solar manufacturers from the U.S. market.
SolarWorld Industries America submitted "anti-dumping and anti-subsidy" cases with the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Commerce Department this week in an attempt to close a loophole the company believes Chinese and Taiwanese firms have used to receive unfair subsidies from their governments and to dump products on the U.S. below costs.
The U.S. ruled against the Asian firms' practices a year ago, but 24 to 36 percent of the duties applied only to panels made from Chinese solar cells, which are the final major parts assembled into finished modules, according to The New York Times. The companies avoided the ruling by assembling panels from cells produced in Taiwan and other countries, even if those cells came from components—ingots and wafers—from China. A victory for SolarWorld would subject modules made from Taiwanese cells and cells from Chinese ingots or wafers to the duties.
“We’re finishing the job of presenting the facts to our trade regulators to prevent China from further damaging yet another manufacturing industry and another rich base of employment,” SolarWorld President Mukesh Dulani said. “China obviously recognizes the key importance of solar technology manufacturing to future economic competitiveness. But we do, too.”
According to The new York Times, China continues to explore how to impose duties on American polysilicon, which is the base compound for conventional solar panels. However, China reached a settlement with the European Union over similar trade complaints in the summer.
Robert Petrina, managing director of Yingli Green Energy Americas, a division of one of China's top manufacturer, said the company would “fight this just as vigorously as we did the first case.”
Rhone Resch, chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, admonished the petition, arguing that it only encouraged a back-and-forth dispute in an energy that still needs help to expand. SEIA’s proposal provides a mutually-satisfactory resolution which recognizes the interests of all solar stakeholders and not just one segment of the industry.
“It’s time to end this conflict and negotiations must play a role," Resch said. "For well over a year now, SEIA has encouraged the U.S. and Chinese governments and key industry stakeholders to find common ground, even putting forth a settlement proposal.
"We urge the United States and China to immediately commit to serious, results-driven negotiations.”
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.
A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.
The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."
On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.
By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans
Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.