The US Department of Commerce is imposing tariffs of 30 percent (and as high at 249.6 percent) on Chinese manufacturers of solar panels who want to import them into the US. The move apparently follows complaints from the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) that Chinese manufacturers are dumping panels at below-market prices into the US — due in part of subsidies they receive from the Chinese government. The tariffs are preliminary but will take effect immediately, but whether they will become permanent will depend on further investigation from the International Trade Commission and possible appeals from the affected companies.

Reactions to the tariffs were mixed. SolarWorld — a US-based (but German-owned) manufacturer of solar panels and the main company from CASM speaking out on the issue — was obviously in support of the decision. However, in the short term the move will likely raise the cost of solar panels in the US, which has some in the larger solar industry concerned. The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), another group that represents the Chinese manufacturers and American installers, said that the "decision will increase solar electricity prices in the U.S. precisely at the moment solar power is becoming competitive with fossil fuel generated electricity."

A more neutral party, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) trade group, hasn't taken an official stance on the issue other than to say it hopes for more negotiations soon. Presumably those negotiations will go along hand-in-hand with the investigations, so you can expect more debate (and probably more statements from coalitions and associations) until the final decision is made sometime in October or November.