SolarWorld vs. China – David vs. Goliath or Corporate Greed? 0

Solar World Industries America is crying foul for Chinese solar manufacturers flooding the market with cheap solar panels. And it appears that the officials at the US. International Trade Commission and Commerce Department are going to agree.

Why? Because Solar World is all about “protecting American jobs”, as reflected by one of its organizations being called “Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing”. Now, let me ask the readers.. is Solar World acting out of interest for America or it’s own corporate profit motives?

Making an argument that what they’re doing is patriotic is a hard pill to swallow.

I live in California, and yes, there are tons of solar panels on our roofs. And yes, I run a solar lead generation company. So taking both into consideration, you can make a fair argument that yes, I am economically biased in making a statement that cheaper solar panels are good both for Californian solar buyers and solar installers who are selling & putting up panels.

But there is a greater motivation than that: energy self reliance If that sounds “holier-than-thou-rah-rah-hippy” talk, let me tell you a story of my friend Charles.

Other than the color of his skin, Charles was very much the typical American 21 year old. Grungy hair, kind of awkward around women, and of course, excited about life. When he signed up for the military and got shipped off to a foreign country for a war, neither he nor his family thought he would end up dead on day 1 without having fired 1 shot from his gun and without even having seen his enemy. His “so-called” enemy in a war he did not see a righteous purpose in.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’s been through the death of a friend or a family member who’s in the armed forces. And I’m sure every one of those was painful. To lose a loved one in a war that a vast number of people were against, and to die for what, oil?

Charles had a dream – to come back from the war, marry his college sweetheart, buy a suburban home, work for his dad, and have a family of his own. He used to tell me about taking his future kids to a local water park and throwing BBQs for his friends and family on summer weekends.

But that dream, along with my dearest friend Charles, is gone.

I’m not statistician so I can’t give you all the facts, but I do know that we as a nation are very dependent on foreign oil for our national energy needs. But if we can solve, or even lessen, our national addiction to oil by having solar panels become our #1 source of energy, then I am all for it.

The more panels we can have on our roofs, the less need for oil, and the less need for our government to intervene in political turbulent middle east where our economics needs are constantly playing chess with their political needs.

Sure, I don’t disagree that the Chinese are playing unfair in the solar market, and I am not saying that we shouldn’t protect American jobs. But the fact and matter is, the need to realize national self energy independence is much greater than the need to protect the jobs of 900 or so people up in Oregon working for Solar World.

What does Solar World’s proposed tariff do? Raises the cost of solar panels. Not only does it hurt the millions of American consumers looking for solar, but also the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of American solar installers who make their living doing the hard work of getting on top of the roof.

What does Solar World get out of it? Political & economic protection at the cost of the rest of the nation and nation’s energy needs. So is Solar World really looking out for the interests of the common man?

If the tariff goes in effect, it will be a step back from the national energy independence we desperately need. Less panels, more need for oil, and more wars

Please, let the “Charles” of the world come back home. Alive.

And to the people working for the solar industry, whether you are an installer on top of a roof in a home in a California suburb or a solar panel factory worker in a city in China, I thank you for all your hard work. No matter how much crap media give you, you guys are CHANGING the world. Never apologize for what you do, and keep the green movement going.

God bless.

TaeWoo Kim is founder & president of Solar One Media, a solar lead generation company that helps solar (PV) sales & installation companies acquire customers online.

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