Trumps 30% tariff on imported solar panels

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Coveny's picture
Trumps 30% tariff on imported solar panels

For the Solar panel tariff:
The solar panel tariff started with solar panel-maker Suniva (who filed bankruptcy) filed the complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission. And the trade commission sided with them.

“On behalf of the entire solar cell and panel manufacturing industry, we welcome this important step toward securing relief from a surge of imports that has idled and shuttered dozens of factories, leaving thousands of workers without jobs.”
-Juergen Stein, CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas

Against the Solar panel tariff
Those in the solar industry installation business however are very unhappy about the tariff siting previous failed attempts.
(six years ago) “The first time the United States tried to protect solar industry manufacturing jobs from foreign competition, things did not go exactly as planned. Chinese solar panel makers evaded U.S. tariffs by relocating to Taiwan, and the Chinese government retaliated with its own duties on U.S. exports of the raw material used in making the panels — leading U.S. manufacturers to lay off more than 1,000 workers and scrap a new $1.2 billion factory.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates that the tariff “will cause the loss of roughly 23,000 American jobs this year”

The oil, gas and coal companies stand the most to gain from sluggish growth in the renewable energy market. The raised $107 million for Trump’s inauguration, and have spent 36.1 million on federal lobbying efforts from Jan. 1 through March 31. And the money seems to be paying off:
1) Rescinding ban dumping toxic heavy metals into waterways
2) Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline
3) Rolling back the Clean Power Plan
4) Opening up protected lands to drilling and mining interests

Going so far as to nominate them to his cabinet
1) ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State
2) Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy

All this in the face of climate change disasters we’re seeing in places like fires in California, flooding in Houston, and Puerto Rico four months later still has 450k people without power, and “Power may not be fully restored until May”. is now in beta.

We have 1v1 and 2v2 debates working and will have up to 16-man tourneys working soon.

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MCDennis's picture
how does this relate to an

how does this relate to an atheist debate forum???

Coveny's picture
From the posting area of this

From the posting area of this website "We encourage discussion about any and all topics as long as it abides by our forum guidelines." Your response doesn't seem to be encouraging discussion about topics that aren't atheist in nature, am I misunderstanding your position?

Tin-Man's picture
Re: "We encourage discussion

Re: "We encourage discussion about any and all topics as long as it abides by our forum guidelines."

Damn... The man DOES have a point there. *chuckle*

Cronus's picture
Atheists use electricity too.

Atheists use electricity too.

Perhaps the subject would be less appropriate on an Amish forum.



mykcob4's picture
Cronus the fact is that

Cronus the fact is that electricity from solar panels is far cheaper than from fossil fuels and the source is sustainable unlike fossil fuels and the pollution is far far less than fossil fuels.
Tesla invented a power station that would produce power feely and is transmitted wirelessly. He was probably murdered because of it. It used the magnetic power of the earth as the source.

Tin-Man's picture


Yep. Multi-billion dollar oil corporations have every reason to sabotage alternate power sources. It would cause them to lose money and/or put them out of business completely.

Nyarlathotep's picture
There is a lot of nonsense

There is a lot of nonsense about Tesla and his work on the internet; so much so that you should be skeptical of almost any claim involving him. Kind of a sad situation.

mykcob4's picture

Are you saying that Tesla never invented a power station?

Nyarlathotep's picture
If you are talking about the

If you are talking about the tower, it was designed to distribute power wirelessly, not collect it. It was to be powered conventually.

mykcob4's picture

Actually, I got that idea from a CRC book (chemical rubber company) which was a book of math equations and historical footnotes, not the internet. There is an equation for magnetic resonance that is attributed to Tesla and the footnote refers to a power station that he designed that would acquire power using the Earths magnetic field and distribute it wirelessly. I can't remember the formula that is YOUR area, but I'll believe you because you always seem to be correct in these matters.
I actually thought you were going to refer to Tesla's untimely death that is a mystery. Officially it was a heart attack but there is some speculation about that. He was 86 and it seems normal but it is also thought that his many enemies would not have minded him dying or at least disgraced.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Stationary magnetic fields do

Stationary magnetic fields do no work; that is you can not extract energy from them. It is a mathematical consequence of the definitions of these things. Moving magnetic fields can be exploited to transfer (steal) kinetic energy from the system and produce an equal amount of electrical energy. This is why there is rotation inside the alternator of a car. Here is our first problem. The Earth rotates, but any conventional power plant will be attached to the Earth and will rotate with it.

A magnetic field can change over time (from motion of the electrical charges that create the magnetic field), and this changing field can be exploited to (steal) kinetic energy from the system and produce an equal amount of electrical energy. Problem number 2:
The Earth's magnetic field is approximately stationary.

The final problem is the strength of the Earth's magnetic field on the surface is exceptionally weak(about 2 orders of magnitude weaker than a refrigerator magnet).
Since the Earth's magnetic field is not perfectly stationary, and it does have a non-zero strength at the surface, it could be done in theory:

Let's say we want to light up a standard LED. That requires about 3 volts.
Crunching the numbers you find that a 1 meter loop of wire, at the surface of the Earth will produce(steal kinetic energy from the moving charge particles creating the field) about 0.000000001 volts. So we'd need about 3 billion meters of wire to light up that LED. And this is ignoring the millions of ohms of resistance any feasible wire of that length would have. So I guess you'd need 3 billion meters of superconducting wire to light an LED.

Maybe we could have Cronus check this result, as I am not an electrical engineer.

algebe's picture
@Tin-man: Multi-billion

@Tin-man: Multi-billion dollar oil corporations have every reason to sabotage alternate power sources.

It's not just oil. Solar also threatens the coal, hydro, and nuclear industries. One of the issues at present is that rooftop solar is reducing daytime power demand, but power companies still need to maintain capacity and transmission networks to meet overnight demand. That's becoming uneconomical. Maybe when batteries get bigger, better, and cheaper everyone will go off grid, and big electricity will go the way of steam trains. I've got a couple of dozen panels up on my roof. I sell surplus power to the power company at 3c a kW in the daytime, and buy it back from them at 20c a kW at night. I can't wait for Tesla to produce a reasonably priced battery.

LogicFTW's picture
Batteries/storage is what is

Batteries/storage is what is holding back solar adoption, not the panels themselves. Solve the battery problem and you got true emissions free alternative. (Other than nuclear that is.) Solar does however help aid the increased load that occurs during the day in the hot summer months, (air conditioning)

Just read today that New York environmentalist groups and anti nuclear groups want to shut down 4 of New York's aging nuclear power plants. (For some reasons I agree with and others I do not.) They also want to reach 50% emissions free power by 2030. That goal will get a whole lot harder if they shut down all their nuclear plants. They would have to near 100% solar/wind generation ability (hydro/geothermal is maxed out,) during day time and windy times. And NY is not known for being "sunny" all the time or particularly suitable for wind farms.

Cronus's picture
Son, you might have been a

Son, you might have been a fine Marne, but you won' t make it as an engineer.

1. The cost per KW/hour by natural gas fueled turbines is vastly cheaper than any known photovoltaic cell currently being produced - and will probably continue to be so for the next century or so.

2. Tesla's "power distributionstation" was simply a large demonstration of induction. I.e. a step- down transformer.

There' s no magic there - no conspiracy by " big electric" to screw the public. Just simple physics.

I know electronics. I know manufacture of power, and it' s distribution.

I own generators, inverters, battery banks - and yes - solar cells.

I know what they cost - I paid for them. And I know what they will produce - as I hooked them up myself.

mykcob4's picture
Let's just examine what you

Let's just examine what you said Cronus and how it CAN'T be true.

You said: "1. The cost per KW/hour by natural gas fueled turbines is vastly cheaper than any known photovoltaic cell currently being produced - and will probably continue to be so for the next century or so."

Cost of using fossil fuels for electric energy.
1) Exploration, equipment, and labor to find fuel deposits.
2) Labor, land lease fees, equipment (maintenance and repairs) to extract fossil fuels.
3) Labor, equipment to ship fossil fuels to be processed.
4) Labor, equipment, to process and refine fossil fuels.
5) labor, equipment to ship processed fuel to power stations.
6) labor, equipment, maintenance, to run power station and taxes for selling the energy.


Solar Power:
1) Land lease for solar infrastructure.
2) labor and equipment to build infrastructure.
3) Labor and parts to maintain infrastructure (considerably less than for fossil fuels).
4) Cables to deliver energy to power stations.
5) Taxes on the sale of energy sold.

Summery labor alone is far greater to produce fossil fuels than solar power. Solar energy is available virtually free and there is no need to search for it. You don't need to process or refine solar power.

Fossil fuels cannot be cheaper than solar power! Unless you have oil and coal companies paying legislators to impose fees and taxes on solar energy making it more expensive and giving oil and coal companies tax breaks and subsidies and the free use of government land. Even at that it is nearly an impossibility!

Cronus's picture
You got your head in the up

You got your head in the up and locked position.

You want something to be true at all costs - but sorry.

It's not.

The only reason you see any " solar farms" is the diversion of funds from the taxpayer to subsidize the solar speculators.

Just like alcohol for fuel. What a waste. Rather than burn fossil fuels - they take crude, turn it into fertilizer - grow corn, ferment, distill - then mix it with gasoline. There is no real gain - except to the pockets of the industry.

Go try to " go off the grid" - I dare you.

The average household will use a minimum of 30 kWh of electric per day.

Any idea of how big of a solar capture you need for that with photovoltaics?

Hint - it's not going to fit on your roof.

Don't forget - you only get about 40% of area to start with ( at very best - darkness, clouds, weather affect output).

Then you need storage. Batteries? Be prepared to buy new every 5 years - at best. They do go bad. Don't forget conversion. If you want to share with the grid or use any AC equipment - you need inverters. Better get a big one. Your refrigerator is going to need at least 4kw surge on startup. Want hot water? Oh fun. A 220v or higher inverter. Those aren't cheap.

Now - tell me how it's going to be easier -- when you go " large scale" and try to power a city.

I once worked in a small machine shop, and did their maintenance.

We used 30 mw per day.

Quit listening to the dreamers.

Talk to engineers. They know what actually works.

LogicFTW's picture
Take away all the

Take away all the infrastructure put in place already for fossil fuel power, and you will find solar mighty competitive, to in quite a few cases, solar being no contest cheaper.

Take a remote village/home that is only accessible by air. PV + batteries setup to power say a small hospital and a few civic buildings is orders of magnitude cheaper than flying in fuel all the time.

Many 3rd world countries that lack electric grids, paved roads and massive power plants are skipping fossil fuels entirely for cheaper overall cost solar and wind.

Yes, in 1st world countries with established power grids, and massive (billions if not trillions) of infrastructure in place, fossil fuels are still cheaper, but not by much, and that gap is closing faster than you think as easily accessible oil supplies continue to shrink. Or we open up new taxpayer owned land to be fracked and drilled.

Then of course there is the hidden steep cost of fossil fuels. The health and environmental toll (one quick example: coal plants around the world release millions of tons of radioactive material strait into the air, while people fret about spent fuel rods sitting in containment centers from nuclear power plants.)

Also 30 megawatts per day? That is a small machine shop? I get it if you were producing aluminum, but holy !#@* that is a lot. I can only assume with all your expertise you decided to drop "h" part in the standard measurement because you once were a maintenance guy at a machine shop.

So extrapolating your statement best I can, you actually meant 30 mWh a day. The average household uses 30ish kWh a day. You are saying your "small" machine shop used as much power as 1000 homes? The electric bill would come out to 100-200 thousand dollars a month roughly speaking.

MCDennis's picture
For the next century??? LOL

For the next century??? LOL

Coveny's picture


Tin-Man's picture


Hey there. Why do I get the sneaky suspicion you are kicked back with a bowl of popcorn, following this, and laughing your ass off? Kudos to you! Classic! LOL

Coveny's picture
Naw. Just thought the comment

Naw. Just thought the comment was funny.

Cronus's picture
And don't take my word for it

And don't take my word for it.

Google is your friend.

Most reports put electric from photovoltaics at 12 cents per kWh.

Commercial electric ( from fossil fuel and nuclear) at about 4 cents a kWh


Coveny's picture
I was laughing at the Amish

I was laughing at the Amish comment, not that. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Not disagreeing with your numbers.

Cronus's picture


I always liked the idea of an Amish internet.......

I envision some model 28 teletypes hooked up to each other sitting in a barn somewhere in Pennsylvania...


Tin-Man's picture
@Cronus Re: Amish internet

@Cronus Re: Amish internet

Funny. However, seems that would still violate their electricity restriction. How about a barn full of non-electric manual typewriters manned by the village teenagers with multiple cages of carrier pigeons marked for specific locations? Hmmm... Wonder how many megabytes of data transfer per pigeon?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Manned by teenagers huh? I

Manned by teenagers huh? I bet the first use of the system would be to transmit ascii porn.

Tin-Man's picture
@Nyar Re: ascii porn

@Nyar Re: ascii porn Is it bad that I actually had to look that up to see what it was? *blushing*

Cronus's picture
It depends on the sect. I had

It depends on the sect. I had dinner at an Amish home ( mind blowing delicious) where they did not have electricity in the house - but did have a gasoline powered generator for the barn to run the milking machine, lights, and charge the one cell phone they had. Guess they' re good at Cherry picking doctrine like all other xtians.

It' s getting hard to find a manual typewriters. Apparently the Russians have been buying them up for use in embassies. Electronic security. You can' t hack a typewriter. Go figure.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cronus Re: Russians

@Cronus Re: Russians

Yeah, gotta hand it to those Russians. They are all about K.I.S.S. The U.S. space agency spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on R&D to make a pen that will write in zero gravity. The Russians?...... They take a pencil. Genius. LOL

Nyarlathotep's picture
The Soviets and the U.S. both

The Soviets and the U.S. both purchased special pens (at a few dollars apiece) developed (with private capital) by a private company. That company still exists.

It does make a good story and has be repeated in a lot of places, including one of my favorite movies.


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