The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has released its “Tracking the Sun II: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the US from 1998-2008” report. Among their findings is that the average cost of going solar in the US has declined by more than 30% between 1998 and 2008. They are crediting the government initiatives at the state and local level for the decrease in price and have also found that after a three year plateau, costs have decreased by 3.6% between 2007and 2008.
“The bottom line is that affordable solar is no longer a vision for the future, it’s very much here now, ready to be a significant part of our nation’s energy mix,” said Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative, a national grassroots organization focused on bringing solar energy into the mainstream. “This all means there has never been a better time for energy customers to go solar or for our government leaders to invest in building a new solar economy.”
This second edition of “Tracking the Sun” collected and analyzed data from more than 52,000 residential and non-residential PV systems that were installed between 1998 and 2008. Last year witnessed record growth for the US solar industry with nearly double the numbers of grid-connected PV installed annually.
The report looks at trends through the end of 2008, but with the continuation of price drops and federal incentives for solar, 2009 is shaping up to be another great year for the solar industry. The full report can be downloaded here.