Renewable energy companies around the world are awaiting a decision by the U.S. Commerce Department on whether to impose anti-dumping tariffs on solar panels imported from China.

Solar_Panels_in_Field_SmallRenewable energy companies around the world are awaiting a decision by the U.S. Commerce Department on whether to impose anti-dumping tariffs on solar panels imported from China, as a little-noticed policy shift by the department last year has made the outcome of the case unusually hard to predict.

Chinese companies grabbed nearly half the U.S. market for solar panels last year through aggressive price cuts that helped make solar energy considerably more affordable for U.S. families and electric utilities. But solar panel manufacturers in the United States have accused the Chinese companies of “dumping” panels: selling them below the cost of manufacturing and shipping them, so as to seize market share, drive competitors out of business and raise prices later.

Any anti-dumping tariffs would be in addition to anti-subsidy tariffs of 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent that the department imposed in March on solar panels from China. The Chinese companies have denied dumping or receiving export subsidies from the Chinese government.

Like the anti-subsidy tariffs, the anti-dumping decision, which was delayed from March to this week, is preliminary. If solar panel importers win a final review of both tariff decisions by the Commerce Department this year, the preliminary tariffs could be reduced or even entirely refunded, although they also might be increased.

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Source: Keith Bradsher | The New York Times