Tracking the Sun VII

An Historical Summary of the Installed Price of Photovoltaics in the United States from 1998 to 2013 by Galen Barbose, Samantha Weaver, Naïm Darghouth, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, September 2014

As the deployment of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has increased, so too has the desire to track the cost and price of these systems. This report helps to fill this need by summarizing trends in the installed price of grid-connected PV systems in the United States from 1998 through 2013, with partial data for the first half of 2014.

The following are among the report’s key findings:

*   International experience suggests that greater near-term price reductions in the United States are possible, as the median installed price of residential PV installations in 2013 (excluding sales/value-added tax) was just $2.1/W in Germany, $2.7/W in the United Kingdom, $2.9/W in Italy, and $4.0/W in France, compared to $4.4/W in the United States.

* The distribution of installed prices across projects has narrowed somewhat over time, but has remained relatively stable in recent years, and significant pricing variability persists. For example, among ≤10 kW systems installed in 2013, roughly 20% had an installed price less than $3.9/W, while a similar percentage was priced above $5.6/W.

Download the 66-page report here:

Tracking the Sun web link:

 Additional reports from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

How Much Do Local Regulations Matter? Exploring the Impact of Permitting and Local Regulatory Processes on PV Prices in the United States (PDF)

Vote Solar’s Project Permit resource helped provide data for the above report:

Utility-Scale Solar 2013: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States (PDF)