“the decline appears to be continuing apace this year, according to the researchers: ‘Within the first six months of 2013, PV system prices in California fell by an additional 10 to 15 percent, and the report suggests that PV system price reductions in 2013 are on pace to match or exceed those seen in recent years.’
Utility-scale systems are also becoming cheaper. ‘Utility-scale systems installed in 2012 registered even lower prices, with prices for systems larger than 10,000 kW generally ranging from $2.50/W to $4.00/W,’ the researchers said.”
They’re still double the cost of European solar installs.
Module prices appeared to be stabilizing in 2013, but the report also commented that experience from other countries suggests the price declines can and will continue. The median installed price of small residential PV systems last year (without tax) was $2.6 in Germany (fully half the price in the U.S.), $3.1 in Australia, and $3.1 per watt in Italy.
Many of these additional gains will come about as a result of reductions in soft costs, as permitting becomes streamlined, and companies develop more efficient customer acquisition and financing tools.
Meanwhile, Deutsche bank’s most recent report – released this month – suggests that within 18 months, 75% of the world’s market will be sustainable for solar (no subsidies needed) as costs continue to fall. The Bank estimates levelized costs of solar at 10-20 cents per kilowatt-hour, and noted that power purchase agreements in the U.S. were being signed in the range of 9 cents. So while we have seen a rapid increase in the amount of solar installed to date, it appears as if this is just the beginning.
Clean Technica’s very interesting read about solar prices here, in some places in Europe solar install costs are getting as low as $1.20/watt without subsidies:
“Using 20-year, 5% financing, the EIA’s 1c/kWh projection for fixed O&M (no subsidies), and the US solar insolation map above, we get these numbers:
7.3¢ per kWh in Zone 5 (4.2 solar hours, 17.5% capacity — Northeast/Midwest)
5.8¢ per kWh in Zone 2 (5.5 solar hours, 23% capacity — Southwest)
8.3¢ per kWh in Zone 5
7¢ per kWh in Zone 2
11.4¢ per kWh in Zone 5
9.9¢ per kWh in Zone 2
To put that into better perspective, the average price of electricity in the US was 11.8¢ per kWh in May, according to the EIA. (And, assuming 3% inflation, the 20-year average cost of electricity would be 16¢ per kWh.)”