US DOE national lab report finds that cost of PV system installations has dropped significantly

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

According to the new Tracking the Sun report released by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the cost of installing a solar system in the US considerably shrunk in 2010 and through the first half of 2011. The annual report looked at solar PV costs in the US and examined over 115,000 PV systems that were installed between 1998 and 2010 across 42 states.

The Berkeley National Lab report, which studied nearly 1,685MW of installed PV systems from the residential, commercial and utility sectors, found that over the past 18 months, the average pre-incentive cost of residential and commercial solar PV systems dropped 17% in 2010 and fell another 11% in the first half of 2011. The report noted that this was the largest annual reduction it had seen since the Berkeley Lab began tracking data.

The report also claims that the drop in the costs of installation labor, balance of systems, overhead and other non-module costs sank 18% from 2009 to 2010. The researchers noted that since non-module costs are mostly impacted by state and federal policies, the 18% drop was a significant milestone in the deployment of further PV installations. Furthermore, it was stated that as the per-watt costs get lower, the average size of direct cash incentives from states and utilities as well as dollar-per-watt value of the federal tax incentive have both steadily fallen since their peak, leading to US solar incentives delivering an larger return on investment.

“Solar is ready to play a significant role in our nation’s energy economy. It’s reliable, it’s scalable, it’s safe, and now we’re seeing that it’s cost-competitive with conventional electricity resources in many parts of the country. The American solar industry has achieved these tremendous cost reductions and economic benefits while still supplying less than 1% of our national energy mix. Just imagine what the coming years could have in store if the US solar market is allowed to continue its robust growth,” said Carrie Hitt, president of the Solar Alliance, a state-focused alliance of solar manufacturers, integrators and financiers.

During the 1998 – 2010 period studied, the capacity-weighted residential and commercial installations saw costs drop by US$4.8/W (43%) in real 2010 dollars, from US$11/W in 1998 to US$6.2/W in 2010. The report notes that this is an average annual reduction of US$0.4/W (4.6%) per year, but highlights that cost reductions over the 13-year period saw the first big drop between 1998-2005. Between 2005 and 2009, the price was stagnate until 2010, which brought a with average installed costs drop of US$1.3/W (17%), compared to 2009.

The full report and accompanying presentation can be downloaded here.

28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.
20 October 2021
Utility-scale solar is evolving, shaped by higher power modules and demand for increasingly lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). Those trends are also changing project requirements elsewhere, with inverters capable of delivering high power density and power capacity in strong demand. In this webinar, FIMER will detail how its innovative high-power, multi-MPPT string inverter and modular conversion solution can both meet those demands and transform the utility-scale solar sector for the better.

Read Next

September 24, 2021
Independent power producer Catalyze has acquired commercial and industrial (C&I) solar developer Sol Alliance, expanding its presence in the northeast of the US and taking on an 80MW project development pipeline in the process.
September 24, 2021
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a US$15 billion package to fund programmes to tackle drought and climate change in the state
PV Tech Premium
September 24, 2021
Concerns have been raised that new measures introduced by Spain’s government to limit windfall profits of renewable energy plants could dent investor confidence and impact the stability of the country’s solar sector.
September 24, 2021
DNV-owned solar monitoring firm GreenPowerMonitor is to integrate Alteso’s solar analytics tech platform into its offering after striking a deal to acquire it.
September 23, 2021
A project that bids to combine up to 20GW of solar PV with the world’s largest energy storage battery and a 4,200km-long subsea power cable has moved a step forward after Indonesian authorities greenlit its proposed transmission cable route.
September 23, 2021
US national residential and C&I solar plant performance assessment company Omnidian has completed a US$33 million Series B raise.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021