US installed PV prices fall 11-14% in 2011 - Berkeley Lab
Nov 28, 2012 - The median installed price of domestic and commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems completed in the US in 2011 dropped by 11%-14% compared with 2010, depending on size, a report of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows.
According to the latest annual PV cost-tracking report by the lab, which is controlled by the US Department of Energy, in 2011 the median installed price per watt was USD 6.10 (EUR 4.72) for residential and small commercial PV systems of up to 10 kW, and USD 4.90 per watt for commercial systems larger than 100 kW. At the same time costs for utility-scale PV systems of above 2 MW averaged USD 3.40 per watt. Report co-author Galen Barbose noted that costs have continued to decline and the prices of PV systems being sold today were lower.
Through the first half of 2012 costs in California fell by a further 3% to 7%, the report says. These substantial recent declines are due to a large extent to the steep falls that PV module prices have been experiencing since 2008, Berkeley Lab said yesterday.
Non-module costs have also seen significant decline over time. Average non-module costs for residential and commercial systems fell by around 30% between 1998 and 2011, according to the report. They, however, have not kept up with the fast decline in module prices in recent years and now account for a large portion of installed PV prices. The report said that the sector needed to focus on cutting the share of non-module costs to ensure continued deep PV price reduction. The study also says that PV system owners saw the price declines last year offset by smaller incentives.
The Tracking the Sun report covers over 150,000 residential, commercial and utility-scale PV facilities installed between 1998 and 2011 and is aimed at providing historical benchmarks for exploring past trends in installed PV prices.