Costs of Installed PV Continue to Decline

Large PV Field


The installed price of solar PV power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2012 and through the first half of 2013, according to an Energy Department report released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The study, “Tracking the Sun VI: An Historical Summary of the Installed Price of Photovoltaics in the United States from 1998 to 2012,” collected project-level data for more than 200,000 residential, commercial and utility-scale PV systems, representing 72 percent of the grid-connected PV capacity installed in 2012 nationwide.

The study found that installed prices continued to decrease by 6 percent to 14 percent in 2012 with median installed prices at $5.30 per watt for systems smaller than 10 kilowatts, $4.90 per watt for systems 10 kW to 100 kW, and $4.60 per watt for systems larger than 100 kW. The ongoing decline in installed system prices is largely due to falling module prices, dropping by $2.60 per watt from 2008 through 2012, representing roughly 80 percent of the drop in total PV system prices for systems smaller than 10 kW.

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