Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has announced a campaign promise to install half a billion solar panels across the United States if and when she is elected.
According to candidate Clinton, Through these goals, we will increase the amount of installed solar capacity by 700% by 2020, expand renewable energy to at least a third of all electricity generation, prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of asthma attacks each year, and put our country on a path to achieve deep emission reductions by 2050.
Under the Clinton plan, U.S. companies and green energy interests would benefit from competitive grants and other market-based incentives. However, the plan would also benefit the Chinese government, says Daniel Kish, senior vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy research.
Mrs. Clintons plan would be a huge boost to China and Taiwan, where over 70 percent of solar photovoltaics are made, Kish recently told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Its also a huge boon to Japan and Malaysia, who make the lions share of the remaining world production. Im not sure Americans are going to be comfortable with Chinese solar panels covering their houses, plugging into their electricity systems and taking their jobs as official government policy.
China is the worlds largest producer of solar panels. In fact, seven in 10 solar panels in the world are manufactured in China and half of the panels used in the U.S. last year originated in China.
However, the Obama administration has placed steep tariffs on Chinese solar panels. And although many Chinese solar panel producers are manufacturing their panels in other countries as a way to avoid the tariffs, U.S. officials could expand the tariffs, forcing solar installation companies to rely more on U.S panel makers, thus boosting solar energy costs.
To achieve the goal of increasing the amount of installed solar capacity by 700% by 2020, a President Hillary Clinton would need to increase subsidies for solar energy a difficult task if tariffs make solar panels more expensive and less appealing to consumers.
To learn more about the Clinton solar energy plan, click here.