Preliminary estimates on the impact of the newly-instituted high tariff on Chinese solar panels have been released by consulting company IHS Inc.
The company predicts solar panel shipments will drop 75 percent from last year’s numbers as the result of a recent ruling by the U.S. Commerce Department which found China in violation of 10 World Trade Organization (WTO) subsidy rules. The ruling also included confirmation that China violated anti-dumping regulations and flooded the American market with cheap solar panels last year.
The reduced shipments of Chinese supplies equates to a 45 percent drop in North American solar imports and the potential for solar module prices to rise for American consumers by as much as 12 percent. A price increase that dramatic would lower the average return-on-investment for solar by about 2.5 percent.
In response to the Commerce Department’s May 17th preliminary ruling, Chinese manufacturers and their representatives have protested the increased tariff.
The Commerce Department won’t issue a final ruling on the solar tariff situation until October.