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President Trump’s Tariffs Hits U.S. Solar

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President Trump's Tariffs Hits U.S. Solar

U.S. solar installations fell 15 percent in the third quarter as the Trump administration’s tariffs on overseas-made panels forced developers to put off large projects, according to a report commissioned by the industry’s primary trade group.

The current weakness in the utility-scale market, however, will be offset by larger volumes of projects than had been expected over the next five years because solar energy is now cheaper than ever, the report said.

Quarterly installations of utility-scale solar were 678 megawatts, the lowest quarter since 2015 and a more than 30 percent decline from a year ago, the report by Wood Mackenzie for the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association said. The total market, which includes residential and commercial installations, came in at 1.7 gigawatts.

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The slowdown is a shift for solar, which has experienced runaway gains in the last decade. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar accounted for 30 percent of electricity generating capacity additions.

Large solar projects for utilities are the most vulnerable to the 30 percent tariffs as panels can account for up to half their costs.

Trump announced the levy on all imported solar panels in January, his opening salvo in a trade war aimed at helping U.S. manufacturers rebound from years of decline. Solar installers opposed the move because they rely on cheap imported panels to compete with fossil fuels.

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Most of the panels installed in the United States are made in Asia by companies including China’s JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd, Canadian Solar Inc, and U.S.-based SunPower Corp.

Wood Mackenzie lowered its 2018 utility-scale forecast to 6.6 GW from 6.8 GW as more projects get pushed into 2019.

The firm raised its forecasts for 2019 through 2023 by a combined 2.5 GW, however, as utilities procure projects that will qualify for a federal tax credit that begins to phase out in 2020. Developers will start projects next year but delay buying modules until 2020 or later because the tariff drops by 5 percent each year.

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Sliding solar panel prices are also spurring demand from utilities.

A move by China earlier this year to slash subsidies for solar installations has unleashed a flood of low-cost Chinese-made panels onto the global market – pushing down prices.

Solar energy system prices are at historical lows in all segments of the market, the report said. U.S. module prices are down more than 15 percent from a year ago.

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Bombers Who Carried Out Attacks In Sri Lanka Were Well Educated – Investigators

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Bombers Who Carried Out Attacks In Sri Lanka Were Well Educated - Investigators

Investigation into Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 350 persons entered a fourth day on Wednesday.

Investigators say the suicide bombers who struck churches and hotels were all well-educated, middle-class Sri Lankans.

There were nine of them, eight men and one woman — including the man described as the leader of the homegrown, militant Islamist group that was blamed for the attack.

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Indian intelligence officials revealed it was the last in a series of unheeded alerts, including an intelligence memo, written at least 10 days before the bombings, that warned of attacks on churches.

President Maithripala Sirisena has requested the resignations of defense secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, and Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara.

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Meanwhile, victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka were laid to rest on Tuesday, with one funeral procession following another all day.

Giving the victims in Negombo a Christian burial essentially required a mass grave, and a whole new cemetery had to be hastily dug to bury more than a hundred bodies. The graves are simple mounds, covered in flowers.

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Family, neighbors and friends looked on, still trying to absorb the community’s staggering loss.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Condemns Trump Silence On Saudi Mass Execution

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Iranian Foreign Minister Condemns Trump Silence On Saudi Mass Execution

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticised the administration of US president Donald Trump for not condemning a mass execution of prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia beheaded 37 of its citizens for what it said were “terrorism”-related crimes, publicly pinning two of the bodies to a pole as a warning to others.

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Tehran and Washington have taken in tit-for-tat measures to label each other’s military as “terrorist” recently, following Trump administration’s decision on Monday to end waivers for country’s importing oil for Iran.

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Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said in a statement that the prisoners were found guilty of attacking security installations with explosives, killing a number of security officers, and cooperating with “enemy organizations” against the interests of the country.

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Rights groups say each year, between 2015 and 2017, Saudi Arabia executed at least a hundred fifty prisoners.

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North Korea’s Kim Arrives In Russia Ahead Of Summit With Putin

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North Korea's Kim Arrives in Russia Ahead of Summit With Putin

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok ahead of his planned summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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Russian state television showed Kim stepping out of his green private train at a railway station in the Eastern Port City, Wednesday afternoon under a leaden sky.

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Kim and Putin are set to meet for the first time Thursday, but there is no plan to sign any agreements or make a joint statement.

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Kim’s visit to North Korea’s northern neighbor comes amid an impasse in the nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.

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