- US Senator Jon Ossoff along with 3 other Senators has introduced a legislation to boost local solar PV manufacturing
- The legislation proposes tax credits to the solar manufacturing industry at every stage of the supply chain
- SEIA said it will set a solar-specific target of 50 GW of annual domestic production capacity by 2030
Domestic manufacturing of solar PV modules in the US is gaining support from political circles with a US Senator Jon Ossoff introducing a new legislation calling it the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act (SEMA). He believes this legislation will boost American solar to create clean energy jobs, better compete with Chinese manufacturers and support American energy independence.
Through the legislation, the Senator from Georgia wants tax credits to the solar manufacturing industry ‘at every stage of the supply chain’ with a view to bring down America’s reliance on imported solar supply chain products from China and other countries. It would also drive down deployment costs and meet renewable energy objectives to fight climate change.
Co-sponsored by Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock, Michael Bennet, and Debbie Stabenow, the legislation is focused on making Georgia a national leader for clean energy technology, and America the world leader in clean energy.
In a solar bill factsheet, Ossoff lists the companies that support this legislation, namely: Q-Cells America, Hemlock Semiconductors, LG Electronics USA, REC Silicon ASA, Wacker Polysilicon North America, Sunnova Energy International Inc., First Solar, Mission Solar, Leading Edge Equipment Technologies, Auxin Solar, Swift Solar, 1366 Technologies, Silfab Solar, Heliene, and the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance.
In response to the Senator’s proposal, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said the organization is setting a solar-specific target of 50 GW of annual domestic production capacity by 2030. “This aggressive goal would create American solar manufacturing capacity equal to over 150% of the 19.2 GW of solar deployed in 2020 and covers all key elements of a solar energy system, including polysilicon, ingots and wafers, cells and modules, racking and trackers and inverters,” added Hopper.
Pointing out at the overseas manufacturers receiving ‘significant support’ from their local and national governments, SEIA wants the US administration to also invest in its manufacturers across the entire supply chain, and ‘these investments must be long-term and multi-faceted’.
This push for local solar supply chain manufacturing in the US comes in the wake of Chinese dominance in the global solar PV manufacturing and the polysilicon production from Xinjiang coming under a scanner for its alleged forced labor concerns.
A recent news report by Politico said US President Joe Biden administration is considering banning the import of Xinjiang produced polysilicon, with pressure mounting from various quarters. However, it cited a blog post of Interim Director and Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program Nikos Tsafos at the Center for Strategic & International Studies that cautions, “Xinjiang is too important in the global supply chain, and there is no realistic, short-term way to get rid of polysilicon from Xinjiang without also slowing down the deployment of solar energy for several years, not just in the United States but around the world.”