Are there any Solar Panels Made in the USA?
Finding US-made solar panels eligible for the new Tax Credit can be quite challenging.
The majority of solar panels are currently produced in China, or at the very least, their components are sourced from there. If you’re interested in acquiring solar panels made in America, here’s what you need to know.
A solar panel with a “Made in USA” label.
The production of solar panels in the United States is on the rise, with companies like Canadian Solar leading the way. At the RE+ renewable energy conference in Las Vegas in September 2023, a remarkable Canadian Solar panel was proudly showcased. This signifies the growing commitment towards sustainable energy solutions.
Purchasing solar panels manufactured in the United States can qualify you for a generous tax credit offered by the federal government, provided that you are able to locate them.
The Inflation Reduction Act at the federal level provides generous tax credits for American-made technologies that support the transition towards clean energy.
However, navigating the government’s tax credit regulations to find an American-made electric vehicle is already a complex task. The challenge may intensify when it comes to locating solar panels manufactured within the United States.
In fact, there are not many panels that are actually made domestically. The truth is, almost all of the panels are manufactured overseas.
Are solar panels a cost-effective investment?
China is the leading producer of solar panels, with companies based there manufacturing a staggering 78% of all solar cells in 2019, as per a report by BloombergNEF. Interestingly, the report highlights that this percentage becomes even greater when considering the location of the factories rather than just the corporate headquarters. This data underscores China’s prominent role in the solar industry, solidifying its position as a major player in renewable energy.
In the upcoming years, the landscape may shift as American companies receive a boost from tax incentives for purchasing domestically-made solar panels and from tariffs imposed on foreign competitors. However, currently, the availability of solar panels made in the US remains limited.
Are there any tax credits available for purchasing solar panels made in America?
To begin with, there is a tax credit available for the purchase of solar panels, amounting to 30% of the system’s cost. This incentive, known as the residential clean energy credit, has been extended and expanded under the Inflation Reduction Act. However, it is important to note that unless Congress extends it once more, the credit will be gradually phased out by 2035.
If your solar panels are made in the US, the government offers an extra 10% tax credit. According to guidance from the Treasury Department, products qualify for this bonus if all steel and iron manufacturing occurs in the US, and if a certain percentage of the costs for manufactured products and components are sourced from US-mined, produced, or manufactured products and components.
The requirement is expected to ignite a surge of investment in American-made clean energy equipment and components. So far, over $13 billion in new domestic manufacturing has been announced.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Solar Panels Made in the USA
While the majority of solar panels worldwide are manufactured in China, their manufacturing expertise has contributed to improved quality and cost over time. Consequently, the primary motivation for buying American-made panels is to support domestic industries and potentially benefit from additional tax credits.
When it comes to adding solar panels to their homes, most consumers prefer working with solar installers. Typically, these installers offer a limited selection of options from their manufacturing partners. However, if consumers are specifically interested in purchasing American-made panels, it is recommended that they reach out to local installers in their area. They should inquire about the brand, manufacturing location, and the brand’s reputation. Additionally, it is always advisable to compare prices from different sources to ensure the best deal.
As the effects of the Inflation Reduction Act are felt across the industry, consumers should anticipate a limited selection of American solar manufacturers to consider.