- Rystad Energy expects the DOC ADCV investigation creating uncertainty for solar installations for 2022 in the US
- It estimates the country to end up in 2022 with its lowest annual solar capacity additions since 2019 with 10.07 GW AC
- Chinese suppliers are also halting their shipments to the US till the investigation is complete
- Bloomberg says 8 companies are being probed by the DOC including biggies as LONGi, JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar among others
Analysts at Rystad Energy estimate 10.07 GW AC new solar capacity additions in the US in 2022, the lowest annual since 2019, as opposed to 27 GW AC it was expected to install this year, thanks to US Department of Commerce (DOC) probe into solar panel imports from Southeast Asian nations.
The DOC picked up the investigation in March 2022, in response to a petition filed by Auxin Solar (see US To Take Up Circumvention Tariff Probe). Previously, Wood Mackenzie and the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) counted 24 GW planned capacity loss in the US by 2023 due to the investigation (see SEIA Cuts US Solar Forecast For Next 2 Years By 46 (percent)).
In comparison, the US, one of the world’s largest solar markets, had installed 22.6 GW AC capacity in 2021 (see US Installed 23.6 GW DC Solar in 2021). Of this number, imports from the 4 named nations—Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand—accounted for 21.8 GW AC. Within January 2022 and February 2022, the total share of imports from these countries added up to 99%, states Rystad.
Notably, the DOC is expected to deliver a preliminary judgement in the Antidumping and Countervailing (ADCV) investigation in August 2022 followed by a final decision in January 2023. If at the end of the investigation, the DOC decides to impose the tariffs, these will be backdated. Till the investigation is complete, Chinese suppliers are ‘halting shipments’ to the US, according to Rystad.
The analysts add that rising commodity prices along with the threat of new tariffs on vital imports has put in jeopardy 64% of the 27 GW AC capacity expected to have been realized in 2022 in the utility, residential, and commercial & industrial (C&I) segments.
“In an attempt to limit cheap Chinese solar panels entering the market from southeast Asia, and with one eye on the goal of shoring up a domestic supply chain, the US has seriously dented its solar capacity forecast for 2022 and beyond,” said Renewables Analyst with Rystad Energy, Marcelo Ortega. “This could be the most disruptive event ever to face the US solar industry.”
Nonetheless, the industry has been gathering political support to build pressure on the Biden administration to expedite the probe to end the uncertainty. Recently, 22 US Senators wrote to President Joe Biden to reject the Auxin Solar petition (see US Senators Demand Expediting DOC Investigation).
Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported the DOC has sought responses to its questionnaires from 8 manufacturers namely LONGi Green Energy Technology, TrinaSolar, JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q Cells, BYD, New East Solar Energy and Boviet Solar, as it deepens the probe. They are expected to furnish the information by May 27, 2022.