U.S. based solar cell makers including Tesla Inc and First Solar are likely to benefit from Trump’s solar measures; however Tesla installation business is likely to get effected in the short term.
Solar installer and electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc stated that it does not expect U.S. President Donald Trump’s imposition of hefty tariffs on the solar industry to have any significant impact on its high-tech solar manufacturing ambitions due to a clause which exempts large amounts of solar panel components from the levies.
Trump’s order, which was signed into law on Tuesday, on the solar cell tariffs kicks in only after 2.5 gigawatts worth hit U.S. shores each year.
As per a source familiar with the company’s operations, this exemption will largely benefit Tesla.
As per Solar Energy Industries Association, only 500MW worth of solar cells were imported in 2017 – one fifth of what is being exempted from Trump’s tariff.
According to Ben Kallo, an analyst at Baird, the solar tariffs are generally positive for Tesla since it will make its domestic products more competitive with Chinese imports; however Tesla’s installation business will pay higher prices for imported panels, in the short term.
Tesla alone will not benefit from these tariffs, as per Jade Jones, a senior solar analyst at GTM Research, the imposition of these tariffs is also likely to benefit U.S. panel manufacturers, including First Solar.
Following the imposition of the trariffs, Tesla’s shares rose by 0.3% to $352.79 on Tuesday.
Incidentally, Tesla was part of a group of domestic manufacturers that lobbied against the imposition of tariffs on solar products.