This is an excerpt from the August 13, 2013: Track the sun, overcome solar roadblocks, and check out the latest solar webinars edition of the SunShot newsletter.
Tracking the Sun Through 2012
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released Tracking the Sun VI: An Historical Summary of the Installed Price of Photovoltaics in the United States from 1998 to 2012. According to the report, the installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2012 and through the first half of 2013. The analysis is based on project-level data for more than 200,000 individual residential, commercial, and utility-scale PV systems, representing 72% of the grid-connected PV capacity installed nationwide through 2012.
Key findings include:
- Installed prices continued their precipitous decline in 2012, falling year-over-year by $0.90/watt (W) (14%) for systems ≤10 kilowatts (kW), $0.80/W (13%) for systems 10–100 kW, and $0.30/W (6%) for systems >100 kW. Among projects installed in 2012, median installed prices were $5.30/W for systems ≤10 kW, $4.90/W for systems 10–100 kW, and $4.60/W for systems >100 kW.
- Partial data for the first six months of 2013 indicate that installed prices have continued to fall, with the median installed price of projects funded through the California Solar Initiative declining by an additional $0.50/W to $0.80/W (10%–15%) depending on system size, relative to systems installed throughout all of 2012.
- The recent decline in installed system prices is largely attributable to falling module prices, which fell by $2.60/W from 2008 through 2012 (based on average annual selling prices), representing roughly 80% of the drop in total PV system prices for systems ≤10 kW during the same period. Movements in global module prices, however, do not necessarily translate into an immediate, commensurate change in the price paid by the system owner; there is some evidence that system prices have lagged behind changes in module prices.
For more information, view the full report.