The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 4-0 today to find that imports of cheap solar panels have caused injury to domestic solar manufacturers, setting up a high-stakes tariff decision for President Trump. The case? In April, a bankrupt US-based solar manufacturer filed a petition with the ITC to impose a tariff and floor price on imported crystalline silicon PV solar panels, citing foreign government subsidies (mainly China) as the cause for harm on domestic PV manufacturers.
Historically, US renewable energy projects have been equity and debt financed by the usual suspects: utilities, independent power producers (IPPs), banks and private investment vehicles such as infrastructure funds. However, strong forecasted growth in renewable capacity installations over the next decade will generate sizeable demand for capital. To reduce the cost of equity capital, project developers and current asset owners have been keen to tap into additional sources of financing – especially innovative vehicles that can appeal to a broader range of prospective investors.