February 3, 2023

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Solar-Panel Makers Scorn `Pittance’ of Aid in Biden Relief Plan

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Defense Production Act funding eyed for solar already used for military gear and baby formula.

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(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden’s plan to kick-start domestic solar-panel manufacturing depends on a federal fund with less than a half billion dollars that’s already being tapped to pay for products including military drones and baby formula.

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That funding—even if fully dedicated to solar production—would only be enough to open a few factories capable of cranking out a fraction of the panels the US currently imports each year, according to manufacturers.

“Even if they spent all of that on solar panels, it’s a pittance,” said Nick Iacovella, a spokesman for the pro-manufacturing Coalition for a Prosperous America.

The federal funding may not even be available for the president’s new solar initiatives. That same pot also may be needed to address other supply shortages and national-security needs. The administration is expected to seek additional funding from Congress. The White House didn’t immediately comment.

Biden invoked sweeping powers Monday under the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to propel US manufacturing of an array of critical energy technologies, including solar panels, fuel cells and heat pumps. He paired the declarations with a two-year waiver of new tariffs on solar cells…

Bloomberg News

2022-06-07 19:11:20

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