Solar power industry faces obstacles with Pres. Trump’s plans for tariff

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- It’s been a rough week for the solar power industry.

President Donald Trump announced a massive tariff on solar panels from other countries.

Some experts predict it will put 23,000 Americans out of work.

But a local solar energy company tells FOX 4 there could be a silver lining in those dark clouds.

“We don’t feel like the sky is falling at this point,” said Scott White at Cromwell Solar.

You might be surprised to hear a solar power company representative predict sunny skies for their business.

But here, at Cromwell Solar in Lawrence, Kan., not only are their bullish on the industry’s prospects, the company plans to hire an additional 20 workers.

It’s not what you’d expect to hear after President Trump announced a 30% tariff on imported solar panels.

“Someone more famous than I once said the sun is still shining in Kansas,” White said.

And here’s why they’re smiling at Cromwell Solar: Most of the solar panels you’ve ever seen are imported.

The solar industry has been bracing for a hefty tariff on imported panels for nine months---and the price skyrocketed.

“Just the threat of these tariffs spiked the market, we’ve seen prices go up the last nine months about 30%. So, we know where the price was before,” said White.

So now, with more certainty on the cost to import solar panels, Scott White believes, homeowners looking to harness the power of the sun and the local companies installing those panels, won’t see a major change in the overall price tag on a project.

“Our feeling here at Cromwell is that it’s going to keep things where they were, as of the day before this. And maybe with some luck, (the prices) will go down a little bit now that there’s some certainty.”