Solar civil war shades Biden’s climate calculus

By Kelsey Tamborrino, Benjamin Storrow | 04/26/2024 06:51 AM EDT

Waves of Chinese panels are pitting Americans who want cheap equipment against those who want to make it. The feud threatens Biden’s climate agenda.

A worker at a solar factory in Yangzhong, China.

Chinese solar panels are creating political headaches for President Joe Biden. AFP via Getty Images

A flood of Chinese solar components is casting a shadow on President Joe Biden’s climate priorities.

That’s creating deep divisions in the U.S. solar industry and causing political headaches for the president. American manufacturers are calling for additional trade restrictions on Asian imports amid what they say are market-flooding practices by China that are undermining U.S. plans to build a fleet of solar factories.

But those calls are colliding with the interests of some renewable energy developers that rely on China-linked companies for components that are fueling a solar building spree in the U.S. They contend new trade barriers could hinder U.S. efforts to eliminate climate pollution in the electricity sector — a pillar of Biden’s environmental agenda.


The solar standoff underscores Biden’s precarious balancing act as he races toward the presidential election.