Solar Builder

JAN 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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SOLARBUILDERMAG.COM | 33 The United States has become one of the largest solar photo- voltaic markets in the world, primarily driven by demand for ground-mounted systems. To put this in perspective, IHS Markit forecasts the U.S. market will deploy 37 GWdc of PV from 2016 to 2018, with ground-mounted systems accounting for more than 70 percent of installed PV capacity during the period. After the rush of development and installations in 2016 due to the late extension of the Federal investment tax credit (ITC), the U.S. PV market experienced decline in 2017 as the project development pipeline replenished and set targets on opportuni- ties in 2019 and beyond. Due to recent trade policy dynamics, 2018 could lead to a second year of decline for the U.S. PV market if new tariffs result in significant price increases for PV technology. IHS Markit currently assumes that a new 30 percent tariff on imported PV cells and modules will be implemented in Q1 2018 [the decision was not made at presstime], increasing the base price of PV modules in the United States and negatively impacting demand for utility-scale PV solutions during the year. But even as the market for ground-mounted PV in the United States faces decline in the near-term, it remains a multi-gigawatt opportunity. When the market experienced its greatest demand for ground-mounted PV in 2016, leading markets included familiar states such as California, North Carolina, Utah and Nevada. Increasingly, emerging markets are accounting for more ground-mounted PV demand in the United States. IHS Markit projects that Texas, Florida, Minnesota and Virginia will also be top markets in 2017 and 2018. Primary drivers of growth in such markets include the emergence of new renewable energy policy initiatives, attractive project economics for customers and utilities and the developing interest of traditional energy companies. 1. Demand for ground-mount- ed PV has been the primary driver of growth in the United States.

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