- Category: PV
03 Dec 2012
- Published on Monday, 03 December 2012 08:27
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The price of installing a solar photovoltaic system in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and it is believed that this will be the case for 2012, according to a PV cost-tracking report from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
According to the report, the median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems in 2011 fell by roughly 11 percent to 14 percent from 2010, depending on system size. Systems smaller than 10 kilowatts cost $6.10 per watt while those 100 kW or more cost $4.90/w.
“These data provide a reliable benchmark for systems installed in the recent past, but prices have continued to decline over time, and PV systems being sold today are being offered at lower prices,” said report co-author Galen Barbose.
For utility-sector PV systems, those larger than 2,000 kW, the average price was around $3.40 watts in 2011.
The falling PV installation costs were attributed mainly to reductions in module prices. But non-module costs such as installation labor, marketing, overhead, inverters and the balance of systems have also fallen significantly over time.
“The drop in non-module costs is especially important as these costs can be most readily influenced by local, state and national policies aimed at accelerating deployment and removing market barriers,” said co-author Ryan Wiser.
The market for solar PV systems in the U.S. has grown rapidly over the past decade, with national, state and local governments offering various incentives to expand the solar market and accelerate cost reductions.
These incentives include up-front cash rebates, production-based incentives, renewables portfolio standards, and federal and state tax benefits. They are motivated by the popular appeal of solar energy and by the positive attributes given to PV. These attributes are its modest environmental impacts, avoidance of fuel price risks, coincidence with peak electrical demand and the ability to deploy PV at the point of use.
As of 2011, approximately 1,850 MW of grid-connected P.V. capacity was added in 2011 in the U.S. This makes the U.S. the world’s fourth largest PV market in that year, behind Germany, Italy and China. – EcoSeed Staff