Solar Equipment Import Tariffs and Off-Grid Electrification
Duke researchers are partnering with leading solar home system companies in East Africa to understand price sensitivity of bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers
Duke researchers are partnering with leading solar home system companies in East Africa to understand price sensitivity of bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers in order to quantify more precisely the ramifications of import tariffs and other policies that have direct impacts on system prices. The project aims to produce an analysis of the costs and benefits of import duties on distributed solar home systems and associated appliances in the East African Community (EAC). This analysis supports EAC governments to design optimized tariff policies for facilitating desired electrification rates and development outcomes, while meeting obligations for national revenue generation.
Students: Sumin Wang, Panayiotis Koutsogeorgas
Publication: The True Cost of Solar Import Tariffs in East Africa
Publication: 2020 Kenya-only summary results
The Debate over Solar Panels
The Trump administration’s solar tariff announcement has spurred lively debate in the U.S. around whether these trade barriers are good or bad for businesses and workers, and to what extent cost increases will soften solar demand in the U.S. But on the other side of the globe, Duke University Energy Access Project director Jonathan Phillips and Hannah Girardeau write in Devex that there is a similar debate roiling around the treatment of solar panels and related equipment in trade policy that could make the stakes even higher for energy consumers across sub-Saharan Africa.