Regulation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables - June 12, 2018
Solar grows despite tariffs
The U.S. solar market grew by 13% in the first quarter of the year, adding 2.5 gigawatts of solar PV, despite a tariff imposed by the Trump administration in January on solar imports.
A report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research noted that solar PV accounted for 55% of all U.S. electricity capacity added during the quarter and added more than 2 gigawatts for the 10th quarter in a row. Solar panels outpaced the growth of wind and natural gas for the last two quarters.
"The solar industry had a strong showing in the first quarter," said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. "This data shows that solar has become a common-sense option for much of the U.S. and is too strong to be set back for long, even in light of the tariffs. States from California to Florida have stepped up with smart policies that will drive investment for years to come."
The report forecasts solar’s growth in 2018 to be relatively flat, adding 10.6 gigawatts, with more robust growth expected in 2019 and further acceleration in the early 2020’s.
The statement noted that while utility-scale solar projects have been relatively insulated from tariffs, analysts expect to see a bigger impact on the segment in 2019, even as they forecast growth for the market.