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Solar Energy Caught in Crosshairs of New Legislation

March 14, 2023

The solar power industry seems to be caught in the crosshairs of competing legislative agendas. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) created incentives to increase solar capacity via tax credits, but the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) limits the effectiveness of those credits by restricting the importation of any goods that were mined, produced, or manufactured in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) because of forced labor concerns.

More than 90% of the world’s polysilicon-based ingots and wafers (key raw materials for manufacturing solar cells) are produced in China, and 80% of solar panels going into both residential and commercial projects in the U.S. come from abroad. While the U.S. federal government is pushing for more solar capacity, supply chain-based trade restrictions are serving as a roadblock to those goals.

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