solar manufacturing
Trump positioned to slap potentially crushing tariffs on solar industry
Solar power braces for crushing tariffs after trade officials give Trump an opening to pursue road test his protectionist agenda in the green power sector.
By Evan Halper


U.S. trade officials on Friday empowered President Trump to impose tariffs that could cut off the solar energy industry from the cheap foreign-made panels that have driven its explosive growth.

The tariffs under consideration are meant to protect a small number of American solar-panel manufacturers reeling in the face of cheap imports. The U.S. International Trade Commission voted to enable Trump to impose them at the behest of two distressed firms that warned the American panel manufacturing industry is in a state of collapse.

But most of the rest of the solar industry fiercely opposes the levies, which independent analysts warn would drive up consumer prices and cause the number of annual solar installations in the U.S. to plunge. Only a fraction of American solar companies make the panels. Most rely on imports to keep prices competitive with other forms of electricity. More than 90% of solar installations in the U.S. use imported panels.

The governors of Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts and North Carolina had implored the trade commission not to authorize tariffs in a last-ditch lobbying effort Thursday. Their letter warned of a “devastating blow on our states’ solar industries” and “unprecedented job loss, at steep cost to our states’ economies.” In California, which would get hit with more job losses than any state, the governor’s office has also been closely watching the situation. Congress also weighed in, with 69 Republicans and Democrats urging commissioners against greenlighting the tariffs. Several think tanks on the right that have long tangled with the solar industry also lobbied against the tariffs, warning they would be an affront to free trade.

Now the matter is in Trump’s hands. The president has been eager to use tariffs in a bid to revive flagging U.S. manufacturing industries, and the commission vote will test his resolve as a protectionist.

Commissioners will take the next few weeks to consider how steep the tariffs should be and make a recommendation to the White House. Trump is not obligated to follow their advice.

Analysts project such a price hike would quickly cut in half the number of annual solar power systems installed in the U.S. The Solar Energy Industries Assn. projects that 88,000 installation and other jobs in the American solar sector would be lost if the tariffs Suniva and SolarWorld are seeking are imposed.

sheldenthegirl  asked:

In a recent post you talked about the "heavy climate impact" of vertical farming. Could you speak a little more to that? Most of the information I've come across just repeat the same "uses 90% less water on 1/10th the land" sort of thing.

All of the inputs that are “free” in soil-based farming (like solar energy, a growth substrate, rainfall) have to be managed with synthesised inputs in vertical farming.

The most recent estimate I have seen (which probably isn’t as stark now as things get more efficient) is that in order to have sufficient lumens to grow crops indoors, powering one square metre of LED lights requires 20x the area of solar panels. Growing them outdoors with abundant free solar energy that plants are designed to use cuts out the middleman of LEDs and solar panels.

LED lights and solar panels are manufactured with plastics in China, and become obsolete fast as newer models are innovated.

Building a high-rise takes concrete, which requires sand mining, as well as vast amounts of metal.

Hydroponic and aquaponic systems are all made with huge amounts of plastic piping and tank infrastructure.

It’s not that I don’t think it’s a good idea to use less space in farming, but I definitely think there are other environmental issues (like vast amounts of plastic waste) than economies of square footage.

I tend to favour approaches that are grounded in agroecology, like agroforestry, over inaccessible tech-laden solutions.

I don’t think you guys understand that Phoebe is NOT, I repeat, NOT an uber-Haitian. What her power is is that she can control darkness. She can absorb light and make shit dark. The way she stopped people from having powers was by literally ‘manufacturing’ a solar eclipse. And as we all know from Heroes, solar eclipses stop powers. But being that this eclipse wasn’t all natural, Hiro’s powers weren’t stopped completely, they just were wavering and unusable.

Tbh Phoebe’s abilities and this whole thing about her involvement in the bombs at the Evo Summit is GENIUS plot-wise. It totally ties both shows together, and it’s really fucking awesome.