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  • Monday, March 26, 2018

    The Cost Of Money And The Price Of Solar

    This 1 Factor Is a Bigger Deal to Solar Energy Than Rising Tariffs; Tariffs are a big deal in solar energy, but interest rates are what investors should really be watching.

    Travis Hoium, March 21, 2018 (Motley Fool)

    “Tariffs are the hottest topic in renewable energy right now…But a bigger threat to renewable energy companies and investors is what's happening at the Federal Reserve. Interest rates are on the rise, which will raise the cost of energy for every solar project across the U.S., making it harder for the industry to compete against fossil fuels. If the solar industry has a bad 2018, it may not be tariffs that are to blame…[The biggest impact [of rising interest rates] is on large solar systems, where a small increase in costs can drive overall costs up 10%...[Ultimately, it's the] price of electricity that matters for solar projects long term, and solar developers will bid based on their cost of construction and the rate at which they have to discount cash flow to get an implied price of electricity. The higher the interest rate they're discounting, the higher price at which electricity has to be sold on a per-kWh basis for projects to make money…A 200-basis-point increase in interest rates would have a far bigger impact on all solar projects than the tariffs put on solar cell and panel imports by the Trump administration…” click here for more

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