There's a solar trade war going on inside the U.S., sparked by an invasion of inexpensive imports from China.
The U.S. solar industry is divided over these imports: Panel-makers say their business is suffering and want a tariff slapped on the imports. But other parts of the industry say these cheap panels are driving a solar boom in the U.S.
In Arvada today, the Obama Administration’s top energy official warned that China will continue to dominate the solar panel manufacturing market unless the US better supports the fledgling industry. Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s visit to Colorado came just one day after he received a grilling on Capitol Hill from House Republicans over the fallout from the Solyndra solar scandal.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has issued a revised plan to fast-track solar power development on desert lands in six western states – including Colorado. The new plan reduces the amount of public land available for solar projects to about 285,000 acres, amid opposition from local groups in places like Colorado’s San Luis Valley.
Abound Solar is nearly doubling its office space at Centerra in Loveland, adding 50 new jobs by the end of the year. KUNC’s Erin O’Toole talks with Jeff Nuttall, publisher of the Northern Colorado Business Report, about this and other developments in the local innovation economy.