Saturday, 19 May 2012

Crazy American decision to impose 31 per cent tax on solar pv

Just as many countries in the world are giving incentives to expand the market for solar power, so the US Government has slapped a 31 per cent import duty on solar photovoltaic (pv) panels made in China. This must go down as almost the ultimate in the opposite of green politics - Narrow minded nationalism picking on a green technology with a facade of protecting part of the American solar industry. I say a part of the US solar industry because much of it is actively campaigning against this nationalist stupidity. See the campaign organised by the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy at

Of course the American decision is being justified by alleged Chinese 'subsidies' to its solar industry. Well who doesn't subsidise their energy industries? Solar needs subsidies so that it can build up its markets anyhow. But even here all the US investigators could find was between 4 and 7 per cent subsidies for the Chinese production. Even if this should be punished, how on earth does this justify a 31 per cent import tax? See the US findings on the size of subsidies on

Meanwhile billions of dollars a year are being given away to the oil companies in tax concessions and incentives for renewable energy are being denied by Congress. See Of course the only explanation for these grotesque contradictions, apart from the clout of the oil companies themselves, is sheer anti-Chinese  protectionist nationalism that is sweeping the USA. Capitalist competition is the religion of America - until, that is, somebody is doing things better than them! Of course many Americans are much more far-sighted than the narrow minded protectionism that has grabbed hold of US policy. Let us see if we can give full support to those fighting this stupid decision by the US authorities (like the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy mentioned above). See some details of the US decision on:

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