Trump handicaps the solar industry

Cory Ives

Solar technology has become the shining star for the future of renewable energy. It is rapidly becoming the most cost effective and clean energy in the world. Despite the bright future for solar technology, President Trump decided to enact 30% tariffs on solar panel equipment. Since 80% of the solar panel equipment the solar industry relies on is manufactured abroad, this tariff will greatly handicap the promising industry.Yet, Trump continually promotes the dying coal industry. Trump is taking steps backward in efficiency and environmental cleanliness, and it’s hurting everyday consumers.

  The increased tariffs are a big deal for people like Kristine Hunter. Hunter helps run a solar power installation company called Hunter Energy in Holland, Michigan. Trump’s tariffs on solar panels have greatly impacted her ability to run her company and maintain steady profits. “It has become harder to sell solar, and I have had a project fall through already this month because of the higher cost,” Hunter said.

  Businesses that are supporting the movement of clean and cheap solar power are struggling due to this costly taxation. What many claim to be the future of the energy industry, the solar power industry, is being suppressed under Trump’s administration. Advancements in solar technology could create a new era of cheap and efficient energy, yet Trump wants to slow down the rapid improvement of a future technological development. “I do not believe this was the right move for the country’s fledgling renewable energy sector,” Hunter said. “This tariff will cause a slow-down in the solar market which will impact my income as a solar installer.”

  Small businesses, large businesses, private consumers, and the millions of other Americans invested in solar technology are being adversely affected by Trump’s tariffs. How could this possibly be good for the energy industry? How could this possibly be good for the Earth?

  One of solar energy’s most obvious benefits is its renewability. Countries aren’t fighting over who gets to use the sun’s energy. There are still a few billion years before the sun goes out. With the current rate of production, Earth’s coal industry will burn out in a few hundred years. If Trump truly wants to make an investment in America’s future, investing in renewable energy is an obvious step.

  But Trump doesn’t seem to be interested in helping the solar industry. Instead, he is a major supporter of a dirtier energy sector: the coal industry. Coal is being replaced by natural gas in most American households because there is simply no advantage to using coal as a source of energy. It is more expensive and more harmful for the environment. Yet, Trump continually promotes the coal industry with nearly no reason whatsoever. The way Trump deals with the energy industry seems nonsensical, probably because it is. He wants to repeal Obama-Era regulations on carbon pollution just to create more jobs for coal workers. By doing this, he ignores the declining progress of the coal industry and the harmful effect it has on the environment in favor of job production, which can be created in more productive areas of the industry.

  Investing in solar technology should be a goal of our country and stand as a symbol of progress. Placing tariffs on solar panels is anti-progress. Solar technology is considered by many to be the future of the energy industry because of its environmental-friendliness and rapidly decreasing costs. Trump is detracting from the potential of this valuable energy source and is taking steps backward from scientific development and a cleaner future. This tariff is nothing but bad news for the energy industry.