Solar Power Leads Latest Federal Push for Clean Energy

The president and his administration are looking to get clean energy initiatives back on track in the U.S. Here's how.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced three new executive orders centered around clean energy manufacturing in the U.S. Through these executive orders and the Defense Production Act, the Biden Administration hopes to:

  • Increase the production of clean energy technology in the U.S., including solar panel parts;
  • Increase the overall capacity of domestic solar manufacturing by entering into streamlined federal contracts with manufacturers;
  • Pause tariffs for 24 months on imported solar panels and parts to ensure consistent supply.

“Together, these actions will spur domestic manufacturing, construction projects, and good-paying jobs — all while cutting energy costs for families, strengthening our grid, and tackling climate change and environmental injustice,” the official White House statement says.

Through this initiative, the Biden Administration hopes to dramatically increase domestic production of five main clean energy technologies:

  • Solar panel parts;
  • Building insulation;
  • Heat pumps that heat and cool buildings efficiently;
  • Equipment powered by clean electricity-generated fuels;
  • Power grid infrastructure, including transformers.

The announcement of these initiatives was met with mixed responses. Some U.S. solar panel manufacturers criticized the decision to pause tariffs on imported solar technologies, saying it undermines domestic production of solar components. Representatives from the solar installation industry were generally more supportive of the move.

“A two-year moratorium is a great step in the right direction,” Sunnova CEO John Berger told Forbes. “Tariffs not only hurt the American economy and the consumer, they also stifle innovation and competition in the market.”

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo released a statement supporting these initiatives.

“As we invest in expanding domestic solar manufacturing and strengthening supply chains to protect our long-term energy security, imported solar panels remain an important component to addressing the immediate demands of bringing additional energy sources online and addressing the energy needs of the American people,” said Raimondo.

“The President’s emergency declaration ensures America’s families have access to reliable and clean electricity while also ensuring we have the ability to hold our trading partners accountable to their commitments.”

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