A new Goldman Sachs research note explores the implications of solar panel maker Suniva's petition to the Trump administration for steep import duties on photovoltaic cells and modules.
Bottom line: Granting the petition could roughly double prices and could have a seismic effect on U.S. solar power project markets by lowering project developers' returns, and demand could "drop significantly."
- All-in costs for utility-scale projects would climb by an estimated 30 percent, with a 15 percent increase for residential projects.
To be sure: Their research note acknowledges a range of possible outcomes. It's a best guess, in other words.
What they're saying: "We expect solar installations would fall precipitously in the US on the back of lower returns in a higher-priced module [average sale price] environment," Goldman writes.
- "While we cannot precisely estimate customer demand elasticity, we would expect it to be severe considering the top reason for solar adoption at utilities and among homeowners has always been costs."
One level deeper: The federal Energy Information Administration provided a useful look yesterday at the growth of the utility-scale solar market in the U.S.