Report: US solar costs continue rapid decline

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Solar prices in the US in 2013 fell by a further 15% year on year, a study from the Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found.

The report ‘Tracking the Sun’ is the seventh edition summarising PV prices from 1998, up to the first half of 2014, across the US.

The study concluded that between 2012 and 2013 solar prices fell by 12-15% depending on system size, averaging US$0.07 per year.

The median installed prices in 2013 were US$4.7 per watt for systems under 10kW, US$4.3 per watt for systems of 10-100kW, and US$3.9 per watt for systems over 100kW.

The report surveyed 300,000 residential, commercial and utility-scale solar systems, across 33 states, representing 80% of grid connected solar in the US and looks at the dollar cost per watt for solar.

The report was conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is part of the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to decrease solar costs by 75%, by 2020.

The major cause of system cost decreases since 2008 has been down to module price reductions; module prices fell by US$2.70 per watt 2008 to 2013, according to the report.

But even in 2012-2013, when module prices stagnated, costs continued to come down, suggesting efforts to reduce non-module costs in systems are paying off.

The US is targeting its soft-cost issue through the SunShot Initiative.

The report also found that last year cash incentives for PV installations, such as tax rebates, fell by 40-50%, aligned with the falling total installation cost. National trade association, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), added that overall, incentives had declined by a total of 85-95% since peaking a decade ago.

But compared to international markets, the study found the US has relatively high prices. Compared to the other top PV markets of Germany, Italy, Japan, France and the UK, across the globe prices for systems up to 100kW are lower than the US, except for Japan.

Germany was found to have prices more than 50% less than system costs in the US.

“In just a few years, American ingenuity and smart policy have made solar a true success story. These price declines mean that solar power is now an affordable option for families, schools, businesses and utilities alike,” said Adam Browning, executive director of US solar campaign group, Vote Solar.

“This report highlights yet another reason why solar energy has become such a remarkable American success story. Today, solar provides 143,000 good-paying jobs nationwide, pumps nearly $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy and is helping to significantly reduce pollution,” added SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch.

9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.

Read Next

December 3, 2021
Norwegian module marketplace company Otovo has launched in Germany, with the company expecting 1,000 new customers over the next year
December 3, 2021
Solar investor and asset manager NextEnergy Capital Group (NEC) has secured backing from the UK Infrastructure Bank for a new fund that aims to raise £500 million (US$663 million) to invest in subsidy-free solar power plants in the UK.
December 3, 2021
Indian independent power producer (IPP) ReNew Power has signed an agreement with Indian engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to develop green hydrogen facilities, becoming the latest PV developer to do so after a string of recent announcements
December 3, 2021
Koch Engineered Solutions (KES) LLC has acquired US engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm DEPCOM, which specialises in utility-scale solar PV projects, for an undisclosed amount
December 3, 2021
Heterojunction cell and module manufacturer Meyer Burger has reduced module output at one of its production plants in Germany as COVID-19 is causing above-average workforce absences due to illness and quarantine orders.
December 3, 2021
Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor (TZS) has become the latest solar wafer manufacturer to cut prices, while also launching a new 218.2mm-size wafer.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal