June 26 (Renewables Now) - Introducing tariffs on imported solar cells and minimum module prices as proposed by Suniva Inc could cost the US up to 47.5 GW of lost solar installations between 2018 and 2022, GTM Research calculates.
The utility segment will suffer the most and over 20 GW of large-scale projects are already at risk if module prices return to 2012 levels, the market research firm says in a new report.
Suniva’s Section 201 petition seeks relief against imports from all geographic sources, and it proposes a minimum price on crystalline silicon (C-si) PV modules of USD 0.78 (EUR 0.7) per watt, and a tariff on cells of USD 0.40/W in the first year. These would be reduced annually for three years. GTM previously said the USD 0.78/W price is equal to 2012 levels for imported Chinese modules.
GTM Research expects the US to install 72.5 GW of solar power capacity in 2018-2022. However, introducing a minimum module price as requested by Suniva could cut that to just 36.4 GW. If the USD-0.78-per-watt minimum price is combined with the USD-0.4/W cell tariff, solar installations in the period under review are to plunge to 25 GW, according to the GTM report.
The number of state markets at grid parity in 2021 could be 43 if not for the impact of the Suniva trade dispute. With the minimum module price the number falls to 35. When a cell import tariff is added to the calculation only 26 state markets would reach solar grid parity, GTM notes.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) accepted Suniva's petition and initiated an investigation last month. The injury determination is due by September 22 and a report to the President will follow by November 13.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.89)