Proposed tariffs on Chinese lithium-ion batteries and related equipment would have “an immediate and adverse effect on grid energy storage deployments”, US leaders have been warned.
President Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US if Chinese president Xi Jinping does not meet him at the G20 summit of world leaders in Japan later this month.
But the CEO of the US Energy Storage Association, Kelly Speakes-Backman, said “now is not the time to disrupt the international supply chain as we work to build a resilient, efficient, sustainable and affordable grid for all Americans”.
“The proposed tariffs will stymie growth and job creation as energy storage projects already contracted are delayed or cancelled,” Speakes-Backman warned. “With this, higher costs and uncertainty will create barriers at a time when the demand for improved resilience and clean energy is rising across the nation.”
Speakes-Backman said: “To maintain business continuity and growth in the storage sector, policymakers should not impose tariffs on batteries and related equipment. Instead, they should enact the plethora of existing bipartisan legislative efforts that have been introduced in statehouses across the country and in Congress.”
Last month, US legislators unveiled a bipartisan draft law to authorise $300m over five years to speed up the development of next-generation energy storage technologies. Battery grid-scale projects would be among those eligible for support under the proposed ‘Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act’.