Administration Takes Executive Actions on Solar, Electric Vehicles
On June 6th, the Administration took executive action on three measures relating to the clean energy industry. These measures will help NECA contractors who regularly perform solar work and who are in the electric vehicle charging station market.
The solar measure is a three-part solution which first includes freezing, for a 24-month period, tariffs on certain solar imports while the Commerce department investigates the integrity of our trade laws concerning the import of these components. Specifically, the action will temporarily facilitate U.S. solar deployers' ability to source solar modules and cells from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to ensure the U.S. has access to a sufficient supply of solar modules to meet electricity generation needs while domestic manufacturing scales up.
Second, the Department of Energy will use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies:
- Solar panel parts like photovoltaic modules and module components;
- Building insulation;
- Heat pumps, which heat and cool buildings more efficiently;
- Equipment for making and using clean electricity-generated fuels, including electrolyzers, fuel cells, and related platinum group metals; and
- Critical power grid infrastructure like transformers
Lastly, the White House directed the development of two tools to accelerate Made-in-America clean energy:
- Master Supply Agreements for domestically manufactured solar systems to increase the speed and efficiency with which domestic clean electricity providers can sell their products to the U.S. Government; and
- So-called "Super Preferences" to apply domestic content standards for federal procurement of solar systems, including domestically manufactured solar photovoltaic components, consistent with the Buy American Act.
On June 9th, the Administration announced new steps to meet President Biden's goal to build out the first-ever national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers. NECA's Government Affairs team has been continuing to work with the Department of Transportation and Department of Energy to incorporate the best training standards into building out the EV charging network. These investments, steered by the standards proposed by the Administration, will create a public charging system that meets the nation's goals of being reliable, affordable, equitable and seamless between states and networks. They will also use workforce standards such as the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) to increase the safety and reliability of charging stations' functionality and usability.