U.S. Tariffs Create Dark Cloud Over Launch of Solar Electronics by Huawei

The upcoming launch by Huawei Technology in the U.S. of solar panel control device is likely to collide with the new White House administration tariffs placed on electronics from China, which will undermine a new product analysts have seen as being a challenge to rivals due to its pricing.

Huawei, known best for its telecommunications equipment and smartphones, developed a new line of inexpensive solar inverters that convert, manage as well as monitor energy that is produced by solar panels for use in the home.

Huawei said that its goal was to roll its new product, known as FusionHome, in the U.S. prior to summer’s end, a year later than its original launch date. Analysts as well as distributors should reduce the current market prices by $100 to $200 of similar types of devices that cost from $1000 to $1500 per home.

However, a proposed 25% tariff on electronics from China that would overturn the majority of an expected Huawei price advantage might have stalled talks with United States installers as well as distributors.

Huawei will have to either reduce margins or increase prices, potentially helping rival producers such as Enphase Energy and SolarEdge, which are increasing manufacturing outside of China.

Huawei did not comment related to the U.S. tariffs.

A spokesperson for the company said last month the company was going to introduce its new product to partners in the U.S. during the summer and the timing of the rollout would depend upon the distributors.

The 25% tariffs, if implemented, would become effective on August 23 and analysts in the electronics industry said it would affect the new product from Huawei.

The foray by Huawei into the residential market, known for being high-margin, comes after a drop in panel installations during 2017 for only the first in the last seven years.

GTM Research just recently lowered its forecast for residential solar installations in 2018 by 8% to just over 2.2 gigawatts.

Of the four major makers of solar panels that took part in a survey, only Vivint Solar based in Utah confirmed that it was looking into adding the inverter by Huawei to its product lineup.

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