Trump's solar penalties are lighter than the industry feared

Maintenance worker walks amongst solar panels placed outside in Massachusetts
Employee from a Radian Generation's operations and maintenance team at the family-owned Knowlton Farm in Grafton, Massachusetts. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The conventional wisdom quickly hardening around the White House decision to impose four years of tariffs on imported solar panel equipment is that it will likely slow solar power deployment to some degree, but is not nearly as aggressive as developers and their allies feared.

Why it matters: The solar trade case has been among the biggest energy policy battles of the young Trump administration and, more broadly, is an early test case of President Trump's willingness to translate his hawkish trade stance, especially toward China, into firm policy.

"The bottom line is it could have been much worse," Ethan Zindler, a top analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tells Axios.