Tariffs on imported solar panels could threaten the economics of residential power systems in as many as 13 U.S. states, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Passing on higher costs to consumers could undermine the business case for installing rooftop systems. “This could be very detrimental if a 74-cent price floor is imposed,” said Hugh Bromley, the New York-based author of the report. “That would more than double the price of modules in the U.S.”
The smaller, local installers and distributors could probably absorb the hit by trimming their margins, Bromley said. That may not be as easy for some of the larger, publicly traded solar companies that focus on solar leases and power-purchase agreements.
“The customer may not end up paying the tariff at all,” Bromley said. “But someone pays.”