June 16 (Renewables Now) - About one third of the current US solar jobs, or 88,000 positions, would be wiped out next year if Suniva’s solar trade case is successful, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) warned on Thursday.
The group estimates that California, South Carolina and Texas would suffer the biggest job losses, of 15,800, 7,000 and 6,300, respectively. All segments of the market would be affected, SEIA said. It sees the utility-scale workforce falling by 60%, the residential by 44%, and the commercial by 46%.
According to SEIA, US solar manufacturing jobs would also decline in spite of claims that the petition is aimed at protecting domestic manufacturing.
"Our estimates show that even in the states where Suniva and its lone supporter, SolarWorld, have operations, if the petition succeeds, there would be many times more jobs lost than expected gains for two struggling companies," said SEIA head Abigail Ross Hopper.
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, Suniva filed a petition with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), seeking a tariff on imported solar cells and a price floor for imports. The ITC decided to initiate an investigation in May and it is expected to propose a solution by September 22.
Last week GTM Research said that an approval of the Suniva petition at its initial form would result in "substantial downside revisions" to the firm's forecast for residential, commercial and utility solar installations in the US.