How New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs will Affect the Solar Industry

How New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs will Affect the Solar Industry

How New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs will Affect the Solar Industry

On January 22nd, 2018 the Trump Administration announced their plan for a 30% tariff on imported steel and a 15% tariff on aluminum imports to the United States. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the tariff is to be active over a 4-year period, steadily decreasing by 5% yearly, only to languish at 15% by the year 2021. Although the Trump Administration affirms that this tariff will increase solar manufacturing jobs, that may not be the case. Your team at Bison Roofing and Solar have outlined how this new tariff will affect the solar industry.

Increase In Costs

In result of the new tariff, solar project costs are likely to get more expensive. The ground mount and solar rooftop racking systems depend on steel and aluminum imports. Material and building cost are expected to see a 2 cent per watt increase. Large-scale solar operations will get the biggest hit from this tariff because of the tight margins they already run on; a kilowatt or two difference will have a strong impact on the concentrated solar power. Customers are now scrambling to purchase solar panels that were imported before the first tariff. As installation cost goes up, the demand will go down, and the market for solar energy will be unstable.


The Solar Energy Association (SEIA) calls these imported tariffs ”job-killing”. The association estimates that the tariff on the imported solar panels will cause a loss of about 23,000 jobs in the solar industry. This solar roller coaster could put a lot of individuals out of work and change the renewable energy wave completely.

International Relations

Over the last 15 years or so, China has dominated solar panel production. China manufacturers almost 70% of the worlds solar panels and installs over half of them. With this newly imposed tariff, there is fear of a trade war with China and other countries. American-based manufacturers will have an advantage at first, but the long-term effects are unclear.

Contact Bison Roofing and Solar

At Bison Roofing and Solar, we pride ourselves on knowing the most current information affecting the solar and roofing industry. As solar energy experts, we know that keeping up-to-date with the latest in alternative energy will only benefit our clients. Call our knowledgeable team at (954) 541-5197 or contact us here to get more information on solar installation!

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