Solar PV prices falling
The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the U.S. fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The market for solar PV systems in the United States has grown rapidly over the past decade, as national, state and local governments offered various incentives to expand the solar market and accelerate cost reductions.
Based on data and other major international PV markets, PV prices in the United States may be driven lower through large-scale deployment programs, the authors suggest.
There is significant variability in PV system pricing, some of which is associated with differences in installed prices by region, and by system size and installation type. Comparing across U.S. states, for example, the median installed price of PV systems less than 10 kW in size that were completed in 2011 and ranged from $4.90/W to $7.60/W, depending on the state.
It also shows that PV installed prices exhibit significant economies of scale. Among systems installed in 2011, the median price for systems smaller than 2 kW was $7.70/W, while the median price for large commercial systems greater than 1,000 kW in size was $4.50/W. Utility-scale systems installed in 2011 registered even lower prices, with most systems larger than 10,000 kW ranging from $2.80/W to $3.50/W.