Suniva, the bankrupt module manufacturer who is the lead petitioner in a trade complaint in response to what it sees as unfair international competition, has demanded GTM Research retract and amend parts of its reports – released on Monday – that suggested the U.S. market could contract as much as 66% if the trade complaint is brought to a successful conclusion.
According to Suniva, the central assumption on which GTM’s analysis of the complaint is based – that Suniva and its co-petitioner SolarWorld want a $1.18/watt floor price for modules – is wrong. Instead, the floor price listed in the complaint itself of $0.78/watt is the proper number.
An email from GTM’s Mike Munsell, manager of research marketing, clearly outlined that the report added a $0.40/watt tariff to the $0.78/watt floor price to reach its $1.18 number (emphasis added).
“In our latest report we found that between 2018 and 2022, total U.S. solar installations would fall from 72.5 gigawatts cumulatively to just 36.4 gigawatts under a $0.78 per watt minimum module price scenario,” Munsell’s email read.”Even more dramatic, with a $1.18 per watt minimum price, representing a $0.40 per watt cell tariff on top of a $0.78 per watt minimum module price, cumulative installations would plummet to 25 gigawatts,”
Suniva counters the $0.78/watt price includes the tariff.
“GTM negligently published this assertion without ever contacting the co-petitioners of the trade petition or their counsel,” Suniva said in announcing its demand. “Had GTM followed standard norms of journalistic procedure and asked for comment from the co-petitioners, they would have happily assisted GTM, and GTM could have prevented the foreseeable harm caused to the co-petitioners.”
“This is why Suniva has called upon GTM to retract their report while there still may be time to minimize the harm caused to the co-petitioners,” the complaint continued. “Suniva does not understand why GTM would publish faulty assertions without contacting the co-petitioners.”
GTM’s MJ Shiao, head of Americas research and one of the authors of the report, says GTM stands by its research and will not be retracting the report. The company will be issuing a clarification, however, now that Suniva has clarified that the $0.78/watt floor price includes the tariff.
“In the course of our research, we talked to trade lawyers who are working on the 201 petition,” Shiao said. “They expressed to us that the wording of the complaint was ambiguous and could be interpreted both ways. That’s why we modeled it both ways in our report.”
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What pompous, pious bullshit! US journalists and analysts have no ethical or legal obligation to submit their material to subjects of reporting prior to publication, nor is such pre-approval (despite vouciferous corporate desire) a “standard norm of journalistic procedure.”
So, Sun-coniva only wants to double the cost of solar panels instead of tripling; how generous. I wonder if the hypocrites consulted with customers and the thousands of solar solar workers before attempting this highway robbery, and mass environmental & job destruction program.
GTM should offer to withdraw the article, when Sun-coniva offers to refund the billions of dollars in lost solar business, hire the tens of thousands of solar workers who will lose their jobs, plus compensate for all climate damages if they win.
Yes, it is common procedure of journalists…real journalists .. .from reputable news organizations to confirm such details before publishing a report.. It’s the right thing to do .. otherwise we have mis-information and “alternative facts” floating around…
I’ve been a solar contractor for 10 yrs now… solar modules have declined steeply in just 10 yrs… Just the solar module..contractor cost was $4.75/watt ,not including install, racking etc .. today … most solar modules of high quality are contractor cost under $.90 !
Suviva Requesting $.78 /watt is reasonable… most name brand high quality modules are around this range , with higher efficiency modules closer to $.90 .
America used to mfr everything.. now we mfr almost nothing! China is unfairly selling solar Modules below cost.. just like they do with LED’s, Tv’s , consumer appliances, kitchen cabinets, building materials, apple juice, even food ingredients (ie gluten) . This is what China has done to other countries as well.. dump product below cost, free electric, free land , free loans, etc.
So some how American and European companies are supposed to compete with NO HELP from their governments while China does all of things above!
This is not good for solar industry! Solar and many industries need to spend money on research and development…. to make solar more cost effective and higher performance. But if companies are losing money and going out of business then investors will be reluctant to invest… So in short term installers will benefit from low prices –that would happen with product advancements and production efficiencies just taken a longer time… but in long run there will not be new products that would increase solar adoption.
You may also recall EU also complained about China dumping solar panels below cost a few years back…so it’s not just America…
How stupid is our country to allow this to happen in every industry?! No wonder it’s hard to find good paying jobs in America!
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