Imports not cause of Suniva and SolarWorld failures, Solar Energy Industries Association says

Published on August 10, 2017 by Kevin Randolph

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently said in pre-hearing written arguments that Suniva and SolarWorld have not shown that increased imports caused them serious damage as claimed in a petition filed by the two companies.

Suniva filed the petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on April 27, saying that increased imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaics (CSPV) from China caused them serious injury and made them unable to compete in the U.S. market. Suniva had filed for bankruptcy on April 17.

SolarWorld joined the trade case in May. The case asks the government to impose duties on imports of

SEIA, however, told the USITC that the two companies’ problems were caused by technical and management failures. According to SEIA’s written arguments, they were not able to produce enough to keep up with demand and missed opportunities to work with residential business.

“In the utility segment, the petitioners were unable to manufacture and supply 72-cell modules required to meet demand,” SEIA said. “Therefore, to meet utility-scale demand, increasing CSPV imports were pulled into the U.S. utility market – they did not “flood” the market – to supply developers with necessary products.”

The falling price of CSPV was due to increased competition with other energy resources such as wind, natural gas and thin-film solar, not excessive imports, SEIA said. The proposed tariffs, the organization has said, would stall the solar industry, increase the price of solar cells, and threaten American jobs.