The United States is set to uphold in 2017 its position as one of the world’s largest PV markets, following a record year in which PV installations exceeded 14 gigawatts (GW), dominated by 10 GW of utility-scale PV. However, as the US solar investment tax credit (ITC) phases down from 2020 to 2022, demand for utility-scale systems is forecast to decline, because the pipeline for project developments will be replenished only with projects targeting completion at points further away in time.
IHS Markit has identified key downstream trends to follow in the US market in 2017, described in detail in this paper:
- President Trump’s policies will not directly impact the US PV industry, but there exists the risk of disruption to the market
- Tier 1 installers of distributed PV will be increasingly challenged by lower-tier players, as costs continue to fall and as access to financing keeps improving for smaller-scale installers
- State regulators and utilities will propose policies that challenge the value of simple net metering
- Utilities will continue to invest in distributed generation and grid services to capture attendant benefits and to maintain relationships with rate payers
- Utility-scale PV development will slow down in 2017, but development activity will remain strong and replenish the project development pipeline through 2020