First Solar responds to the bifacial exemption
First Solar is deeply disappointed in the decision to extend the Section 201 safeguard duties while maintaining the exclusion of bifacial panels. Quite simply, the extension to the Section 201 safeguard excluding bifacial panels is no safeguard at all.
This exclusion un-levels the playing field by providing unlawfully subsidized bifacial panels an instant, artificial advantage over other panel types, an advantage that is based not on real-world performance or true competitiveness, but merely on distinguishing where the cells happen to be located on the panel. With bifacial being the dominant Chinese solar product today, this decision effectively allows China to outflank American efforts to grow self-reliant solar supply chains.
Allowing Chinese solar manufacturers to have unrestricted access to the US solar market is not a bet on American workers or ingenuity and innovation.
We urge the President to act now on legislation that will incentivize domestic manufacturing and create a long-term industrial strategy. Failing that, today’s decision places at risk billions of dollars in existing investment, thousands of jobs, our country’s energy security and a climate-critical transition to net-zero emissions. It also places at risk the over 10 gigawatts of new American manufacturing capacity announced since May 2021, as well as the thousands of new jobs here at home that were set to be created both directly, on the manufacturing floor, and indirectly across domestic supply chains.
- Mark Widmar, CEO, First Solar