American Companies Representing nearly 10,000 Workers Concerned that Protectionism Will Cost American Jobs.
(Washington, D.C. – November 22, 2011) Within one week of forming, dozens of U.S. solar companies, representing thousands of American jobs, have joined the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) to urge policymakers to help find a resolution to SolarWorld’s harmful trade petition. The Coalition now represents 52 American solar companies from across the United States and throughout the solar value chain and more than 9,600 jobs, or nearly 10% of the U.S. solar industry workforce.
“Every day, new American solar companies are stepping forward to oppose SolarWorld’s bid to block competition in the U.S. solar industry,” said Alan Epstein, President and COO of KDC Solar LLC, a new CASE member based in New Jersey. “Competition is good for the U.S. solar industry, good for solar jobs, and good for the economy. The solar industry must remain united in its mission to make solar energy affordable for everyone.”
CASE members represent a large cross section of the U.S. solar industry, both large to small companies, including silicon and module manufacturers, project developers, financial and real estate services and installers.
“We’ve hired 400 employees this year, including electricians, roofers, salespeople, call center professionals – affordable solar energy in the United States is the catalyst for this new economic opportunity and these jobs,” said Ken Button, co-founder and president, Verengo Solar Plus. “If SolarWorld is successful with its petition, it would hurt the broader U.S. solar industry. Are SolarWorld’s jobs more important than ours?”
In a recent solar industry report, Jefferies analyst Jesse Pichel explained why SolarWorld’s anti-trade petition could hurt broader U.S. solar industry growth: “The U.S. solar industry, already suffering from a lack of financing, will experience higher panel prices and lower demand if countervailing duties are imposed as early as March 2012. SolarWorld may see backlash as U.S. developers and installers are hurt by this scorched Earth approach.”
SolarWorld’s trade action has been largely unpopular in the U.S. solar industry, given its potential to hurt thousands of jobs throughout the solar value chain. In a survey conducted by PV Magazine, 76.4 percent of respondents opposed the petition with only 20 percent expressing support.
“We must be careful not to jeopardize 100,000 jobs in a bid to save one struggling company with 1,000 jobs,” added Button. “The solar industry is expected to add about 24,000 jobs in 2012, but cost-prohibitive solar would put that growth at risk.”
To learn more about the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), please visit our website: www.coalition4affordablesolar.org.
CASE members include:
AAA Solar Energy Free LLC, Advance Realty, AES Solar, Alethea Cleantech, Alpine Solar Energy, LLC, altPOWER, Inc., American Solar & Alternative Power, American Solar Systems, Inc., Array Power, Brightergy, Canadian Solar USA, Inc., Carolina Solar Energy LLC, Distributed Sun, LLC, Eco-merica Inc., Electrical Solutions, LLC, Energy Efficiencies, LLC, Gaia Worldwide, LLC, GCL Solar Energy, Inc., Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., Genesis Solar Technologies, Grape Solar, Inc., groSolar, Hawaii Energy Smart, Helio Power Systems.L.L.C Jigar Shah Consulting, KDC Solar LLC, Lighthouse Solar, Lumos, MEMC/SunEdison, Online Technology Exchange, Inc, Ontility, PetersenDean, RA Power & Light, RDK Products/Nature Power, Rochlin Corporation, RSMR / TRANSEARCH, Russell Pacific, SCS Renewables Inc., Simple Energy Works, Solar City, SolarFirst, Inc, Solarix LLC, Stellar Roofing and Solar SunCap, Sungevity, SunRun, Suntech America, Syncarpha Solar, LLC, Trina Solar U.S. Inc., Verengo, Westinghouse Solar, Yingli Americas, etc.