Wed. Sep 18th, 2019

Bifacial modules win reprieve from U.S. photo voltaic tariffs

Bifacial modules will get a move on the Trump administration’s photo voltaic import tariffs, giving a lift to a small however shortly rising photo voltaic expertise because the U.S. market prepares for the funding tax credit score’s phasedown.

In a submitting, officers stated the U.S. Commerce Consultant will publish a Part 201 tariff exclusion on Thursday for bifacial modules, which soak up daylight on either side.

The choice marks the second spherical of exemptions the U.S. has granted because the Trump administration’s January 2018 imposition of 30 % tariffs on most imported photo voltaic cells and modules.

The primary exclusion appeared largely designed to profit SunPower, which acquired Part 201 petitioner SolarWorld Americas in April of 2018. However the impression of this spherical of exclusions is tougher to gauge.

Bifacial modules characterize lower than 1 % of worldwide photo voltaic installations right this moment and their monitor file is skinny, however with a considerably greater effectivity than conventional modules, they’re gaining traction in quite a few markets, together with the U.S. 

Two weeks in the past Canadian Photo voltaic introduced the biggest module order in its historical past with developer EDF, a portion of which might be bifacial.

Mirroring the broader upstream photo voltaic trade, a lot of the largest producers of bifacial modules are based mostly abroad, together with Longi, LG, Trina and Yingli. The U.S. has little bifacial manufacturing capability on-line.

The extent to which the exemption will additional gas the demand for bifacial expertise stays unclear.

“This [exclusion] goes to provide bifacial extra of a aggressive edge towards different modules,” stated Colin Smith, a senior photo voltaic analyst at Wooden Mackenzie Energy & Renewables. “It’s actually going to convey the general price down and make them extra engaging to builders.”

The exemption comes as WoodMac is forecasting a tightening of the worldwide module market, pushed partly by a procurement rush within the U.S. as builders transfer to purchase up gear forward of the ITC’s phasedown.

Along with bifacial modules, the newest spherical of exclusions additionally applies to versatile fiberglass panels starting from 250 to 900 watts, which may embody some building-integrated PV product.

U.S. commerce officers stated this would be the final tariff exclusion they grant on photo voltaic gear, with the company now having reviewed all requests submitted because it began receiving appeals in February 2018. The photo voltaic tariffs step down over the course of 4 years.

The administration didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark concerning its determination making behind the exclusion or the timing for the choice. Within the submitting, the U.S. Commerce Consultant stated it “will monitor developments within the U.S. market” and will present alternative for the submission of future exclusion requests.

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