The Solar Supply Chain: Why it Matters and Where it’s Going
The United States is a world leader in solar energy capacity and production, and for decades, the technology has been largely advanced. However, in the last few years, solar technology production has faltered slightly, bringing the nation to zero solar manufacturing plants and limited capacity for input production.
Most solar capacity production takes place in Southeast Asia, which can leave the supply chain vulnerable to trade and political conflicts, and the methods of production and transportation raise environmental and social concerns world-wide.
Many homeowners wishing to make the switch to solar power want to know their products are made in America, but it is nearly impossible to mass-produce solar technology in a country where there is minimal domestic manufacturing capacity. Increasing domestic manufacturing capacity is key to the continued long-term growth of solar and would greatly help secure the supply chain, making it easier for homeowners to go solar with equipment made right here in America.
Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act (SEMA)
As part of the recent Inflation Reduction Act, the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act (SEMA) from Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA), the United States is working to build 50 gigawatts of domestic solar production capacity by 2030.1 This goal is backed with long-term tax incentives to help bridge the gap between production costs and previous importing expenses. Because of SEMA, United States solar manufacturers can invest in more stable means of production with policies to support the industry.
Large-scale facilities are expected to begin construction within the next year, and the solar industry will experience massive growth through job creation and production capacity. The long-term effectiveness of the IRA ensures investing in solar manufacturing in the United States will benefit the nation’s economy for years to come. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, the IRA is helping to create more than 275,000 jobs in the solar industry, tripling the size of the solar manufacturing workforce and employing over half a million Americans in the industry.2
Along with the pause on importation tariffs, $500 million has been allocated by the Defense Production Act (DPA). Solar imports and trade can potentially be threatened by political conflict, and the DPA has declared that “securing the United States’ solar supply chain is a matter of national security and enables actions such as federal procurement, establishing project labor agreements, developing loan programs, and more.”3
Pausing the tariffs on imports reduces the strain on American solar deployment in the short-term and allows investments in the groundwork for long-term solutions.
“The world and the American people cannot abide the presence of goods made under the exploitative conditions experienced by ethnic minority groups in its global supply chains,” said Marty Walsh, US Secretary of Labor.4
With these recent developments, major players in solar manufacturing like Hanwha Q CELLS and JinkoSolar have indicated plans to move operations into the United States, already proving these recent changes are making a difference in the economy.5
Blue Raven Solar and the American Supply Chain
Bringing the solar supply chain back to the United States of America is an incredible step forward. The impact solar power can have on the planet and on homeowners is substantial. Blue Raven Solar is proud to be part of the United States’ solar industry. The inevitable growth of renewable energy resources from these implementations is a testament to the power of what we believe in: lives are improved through solar energy.
Blue Raven Solar is dedicated to pushing the American solar industry forward, installing as many US-made products as possible. As more homeowners see what solar power can do for their planet and their wallets, Blue Raven Solar is ready to help them make the switch.