The installation price of residential PV systems in Germany is lower than the price in the US, according to the results of a survey conducted by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Data collated from the survey — which reviewed 41 German solar installers in October 2012 and compared the results with a previous NREL survey of 56 US installers — revealed that the cheaper cost was primarily due to lower non-hardware or “soft” costs in Germany.
Soft costs for residential solar in the US were US$2.72 per watt higher than in Germany with soft costs in Germany averaging at US$0.62 while those in the US averaged at US$3.34.
The lower pricing in Germany is a result of several factors including the fact that German residential PV installations tend to be larger than those in US which means that German installers may benefit from economies of scale. Other factors include lower hardware component and customer acquisition costs, shorter installation times, lower installation labour costs, and no sales tax on residential PV systems.