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  • Wednesday, November 28, 2012


    Costs Of Solar Energy Rapidly Declining Throughout U.S. Market

    27 November 2012 (Solar Industry)

    “The installed price of solar photovoltaic power systems in the U.S. fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)…The median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 fell by roughly 11% to 14% from the year before, depending on system size. In California, prices fell by an additional 3% to 7% within the first six months of 2012.

    “These recent installed price reductions are attributable, in large part, to dramatic reductions in PV module prices, which have been falling precipitously since 2008, according to Berkeley Lab…[N]on-module costs - such as installation labor, marketing, overhead, inverters and the balance of system - have also fallen significantly over time…”

    “…[A]verage non-module costs for residential and commercial systems declined by roughly 30% from 1998 to 2011, but they have not declined as rapidly as module prices in recent years. As a result, non-module costs now represent a sizable fraction of the installed price of PV systems, and continued deep reduction in the price of PV will require concerted emphasis on lowering…[non-module] soft costs…[M]edian installed price of PV systems installed in 2011 was $6.10/W for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kW in size and was $4.90/W for larger commercial systems of 100 kW or more in size…

    “Utility-sector PV systems larger than 2,000 kW in size averaged $3.40/W in 2011…[T]he authors suggest that PV prices in the U.S. may be driven lower through large-scale deployment programs…[O]ther factors are also important in achieving installed price reductions…The market for solar PV systems in the U.S. has grown rapidly over the past decade, as national, state and local governments offered various incentives…and accelerate cost reductions…”


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