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SolarWorld seeks to single-handedly destroy U.S. solar industry

Friday, Jan 24, 2014

SolarWorld’s recent petition to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission is an effort to shield the company from fair competition. The result that SolarWorld is requesting will kill jobs in the U.S. economy while raising prices for domestic solar installations. The German company’s petition comes at a time when consumer demand for solar is contributing more than 10,000 jobs a year to the U.S. economy, according to testimony presented yesterday at a hearing before the International Trade Commission (ITC).

“Previously SolarWorld filed a petition against China. Now it is going after Taiwan”

CASE (Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy), which represents the majority of the U.S. solar industry and is organized to protect the thriving U.S. solar industry from the reckless self-interest of a single foreign company, is opposing SolarWorld’s petitions.

“SolarWorld is looking to single-handedly kill U.S. solar jobs, which are primarily in solar installation, not in solar cell or panel manufacturing,” said CASE President, Jigar Shah. “Because of worldwide fair price competition, we have been able to significantly lower the cost of installing solar across the nation’s residential and commercial rooftops—which, in turn, has created more than 119,000 jobs to date.”

“The government shouldn’t reward or protect one German company that is not fitting into the thriving global solar industry,” added Shah. “It also should not punish the American companies that have found a job-creating niche in that same industry. The prosecution of this trade case is not going to solve the problem of promoting American manufacturing – it will just disrupt the industry.”

In the last decade American companies have harnessed a global solar industry to nurture a mature and growing domestic industry, in which affordable solar panels manufactured abroad drive the creation of American installation jobs—jobs on American homes that can never be outsourced to other countries.

According to the Solar Foundation’s Annual Solar Jobs Census, more than 13,000 solar jobs were created between August 2011 and August 2012, driven by ongoing growth in solar installation, sales, and distribution. There was negative growth in manufacturing jobs over the same twelve months.

Two basic trends capture the success of domestic companies in the global solar industry: Module prices declined 44% from 2011-2012, which in turn caused U.S. solar capacity increases of 71% over the same period.

Source: Business Wire

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