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“Buy American” Solar Panel Military Law reveals Policy Confusion and Protectionist Hypocrisy

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USA recently signed a Military Law which obliges the US Defense Forces to buy Solar Panels which are made in the USA.This “Buy American” proposal directly contradicts US actions and policy which advocates free trade in Green Energy.The US Steelworkers Trade Union recently filed a petition with the US Administration against subsidies being given to the Green Industry by China.US government officials also spoke against the “domestic content” requirements of the Indian Solar Subsidy Policy JNNSM.However when it comes to their own solar panel procurement,the US government has foolishly forced its military forces to buy USA made panels.Not that this will help in boosting the US industry too much,as a number of foreign solar panel producers like Solarworld,Suntech already have module making factories in the United States.Also it remains doubtful about how many solar panels the US Military will buy in the coming years.It will remain a  fraction of the global solar demand.Instead of supporting US Solar companies like Evergreen Solar,Energy Conversion Devices which are fighting to survive,the administration has  given billion dollar loans to a Spanish Solar Thermal Producer.

This Provision speaks volumes of the totally confused Green Policy of the US administration and makes it look like a hypocrite when it champions free trade and dismantling of trade barriers.This provision will backfire as it substantially weakens US position against Asian countries particularly China.US is rapidly losing the Green Industry Race to China and others due to confused administration.

Pentagon cannot buy Chinese solar panels anymore

The military appropriations law signed by Obama on January 7 contains a little-noticed “Buy American” provision for the US Defence Department purchases of solar panels — a clause that is likely to dismay Chinese officials preparing for the Hu-Obama summit, The New York Times reported.The new Buy American provision prevents the Defence Department from buying Chinese-made solar panels.

The American military is a rapidly growing consumer of renewable energy products, because it is extremely expensive and frequently dangerous to ship large quantities of fuel into remote areas of war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.The solar panel provision is carefully written to help it comply with the free trade rules of the WTO, which would make it hard for China to ask a WTO tribunal to overturn the provision, the report quoted trade lawyers as saying.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Renewable Energy Hudson Valley

    Great blog! I genuinely love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the facts are well written. I have bookmarked your site! Clean Energy is green energy. We all should do our bit for the environment and encourage the use of clean energy.

  2. Scott Thomas

    This is great news. If only other government agencies would follow this lead, the american manufacturers would have a shot against the cost pressures coming from China. Great article!