2012-11-27. The Installed Price of Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the U.S. Continues to Decline at a Rapid Pace

posted Dec 3, 2012, 8:01 AM by Alan Gould
| Allan Chen, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab News Center. Relevant to Energy Use, chapter 10. Excerpt:  Berkeley, CA — The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States 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). …median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 fell by roughly 11 to 14 percent from the year before, … in California, prices fell by an additional 3 to 7 percent 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. The report indicates that non-module costs—such as installation labor, marketing, overhead, inverters, and the balance of systems—have also fallen significantly over time.  … Ryan Wiser of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division [said], “as these costs can be most readily influenced by local, state, and national policies aimed at accelerating deployment and removing market barriers.” …average non-module costs for residential and commercial systems declined by roughly 30 percent from 1998 to 2011, but 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 the portion of non-module costs associated with so-called “business process” or “soft” costs. … the median installed price of PV systems installed in 2011 was $6.10 per watt (W) for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kilowatts (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…. Read the full article: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2012/11/27/the-installed-price-of-solar-photovoltaic-systems-in-the-u-s-continues-to-decline-at-a-rapid-pace/