US solar panel prices set to drop in 2011

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Solar panel prices in the U.S. are set to drop by US$0.20 per watt in 2011, according to SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. Such a fall would bring the average panel price down to US$1.40 per watt – 12.5% below the predicted price for 2011.

Prices for solar panels have declined by around 75% in the past 10 years and now contribute less than half the total installation cost of an average rooftop system. Rive told Reuters this latest drop would help SolarCity reach its 2011 cost-cutting target of 5 to 8%: “It's hard to carve out 20 cents anywhere in this business.”

Despite a spate of recently-announced feed-in tariff cuts, most major solar panel manufacturers are raising their output this year in an attempt to increase market share. However, this could result in a surplus of panels on the market, thus tightening margins at companies such as Trina Solar and First Solar.

Another thorn in the industry’s side is the decision of several U.S. states to place a cap on the number of projects and subsidy amount each company can claim. “It doesn't help anyone but the small guy, and he's going to go away when the subsidy does,” Rive said. “Driving down the costs of solar often means that companies must take advantage of economies of scale that are achieved by growing a company's size. Unless you plan to [subsidise] this thing forever, you have to let them compete, and see who wins.”

Read Next

April 9, 2021
The US’ fleet of solar and wind generation capacity is set to almost triple over the next decade, but even this is not enough to meet President Biden’s ambitious decarbonisation targets, according to a recent BloombergNEF report.
April 9, 2021
LONGi Solar will supply its high-efficiency modules to two projects in Malaysia totalling 190MW that were awarded in the third round of country’s large-scale solar tender programme.
April 9, 2021
Spanish independent power producer Opdenergy is preparing to launch an initial public offering to help fund the development of 3.7GW of renewables projects across Europe and the Americas.
April 9, 2021
A draft proposal put forward by China’s National Development and Reform Commission could see subsidies for new solar projects phased out, starting this year.
April 9, 2021
Solar and storage provider Sunworks has acquired installer Solcius in a deal worth US$51.8 million.
April 8, 2021
Green hydrogen may become cheaper than natural gas by 2050, falling by 85% over the next 30 years, but declining costs in the solar sector will be crucial for the nascent technology's growth.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET