Solar Company CEO Says Import Tariffs Would Be Harmful
The CEO of Gehrlicher Solar America Corp, Stefan Parhofer, said in an op-ed published by NJ.com that that the tariffs on imported solar energy panels proposed by some U.S. solar manufacturers would do more harm than good.
Parhofer’s company, an affiliate of a German solar group, has for the last nine months it has been in the U.S. invested $5 million in the country and generated 20 direct and 80 indirect jobs.
He says manufacturing provides less than 5 per cent of the solar industry’s jobs. “Ninety-five percent of solar jobs are in project development, planning, racking and inverter manufacturing, installation and other services,” he added.
Solar panels have seen their prices decrease by more than 50 percent over the last 18 months, which has increased solar energy production in New Jersey, where Gehrlicher is based, by nearly 100 per cent. The solar industry employs more than 100,000 Americans with a growth rate of 6.8 per cent, or almost 10 times the growth rate in the entire economy. A growth rate of 24 percent is projected for 2012.
“For every job that a tariff might protect in manufacturing panels, at least three jobs could be lost in the remaining 95 percent of the industry. Many of these jobs would be in New Jersey, which now has the nation’s second-largest market for solar energy systems, trailing only California,” added the CEO.
To read the full article, go here. Do you agree with Parhofer on this issue?
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.
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