Industry News




 

11/27/2012

Price of Solar Declining Rapidly

 
Solar energy may become an even more viable renewable energy option as prices continue to decline.

If you’re looking to the bright future of photovoltaics for your facility or building, experts say you’re not going to have to wait long.  Prices for photovoltaic power systems are dropping, and dropping fast.

The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

The median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 fell by roughly 11% to 14% from the year before, depending on system size, and, in California, prices fell by an additional 3% to 7% within the first six months of 2012. These recent installed price reductions are attributable, in large part, to dramatic reductions in PV module prices, which have been falling precipitously since 2008.

The report indicates that non-module costs—such as installation labor, marketing, overhead, inverters, and the balance of systems—have also fallen significantly over time.  “The drop in non-module costs is especially important,” says report co-author Ryan Wiser of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, “as these costs can be most readily influenced by local, state, and national policies aimed at accelerating deployment and removing market barriers.”

According to the report, average non-module costs for residential and commercial systems declined by roughly 30% from 1998 to 2011, but have not declined as rapidly as module prices in recent years. As a result, non-module costs now represent a sizable fraction of the installed price of PV systems, and continued deep reduction in the price of PV will require concerted emphasis on lowering the portion of non-module costs associated with so-called “business process” or “soft” costs.

The report indicates that the median installed price of PV systems installed in 2011 was $6.10 per watt (W) for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kilowatts (kW) in size and was $4.90/W for larger commercial systems of 100 kW or more in size.  Utility-sector PV systems larger than 2,000 kW in size averaged $3.40/W in 2011.  Report co-author Galen Barbose, also of Berkeley Lab, stresses the importance of keeping these numbers in context, noting that “these data provide a reliable benchmark for systems installed in the recent past, but prices have continued to decline over time, and PV systems being sold today are being offered at lower prices.”

Based on these data and on installed price data from other major international PV markets, the authors suggest that PV prices in the United States may be driven lower through large-scale deployment programs, but that other factors are also important in achieving installed price reductions.

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.  


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating’s new H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide year-round comfort, even in extreme climates. With 100% heating capacity down to 0° F outdoor ambient and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F, our hyper-heating systems bring highly responsive multi-zone comfort to your projects, regardless of climate zone.

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03/30/2015

New technology driving increased demand on healthcare systems.

03/27/2015

Capital ranks #1 in certified buildings.

03/26/2015

New sensor cable technology can detect all types of security breaches.

03/25/2015

Facilities will help cut government GHG emissions by 40%.

03/24/2015

Building sustainability shown to improve tenant happiness.

03/23/2015

New technology to improve the efficiency of wind power systems.

03/20/2015

Reduction of storm activity due to climate change will increase extreme weather.

03/19/2015

Simple ventilation improvements could save over $20,000 per year.

03/18/2015

Efforts to minimize climate change may be more effective than previously thought.

03/17/2015

Researchers develop new approach to create renewable energy.

03/16/2015

Report shows wind becoming cost competitive in more states.

03/13/2015

Study shows “fragrances” may be more than they appear.

03/12/2015

New energy storage configurations could cut costs.

03/11/2015

Program will streamline certification processes, code familiarity.

03/06/2015

Study shows buildings such as hospitals could cut energy use.

03/05/2015

Small and medium-sized buildings will soon have automation options.

03/04/2015

Form will aid lenders in assessing value of sustainable design.

03/03/2015

Expanded choices offer climate-friendly solutions.

03/02/2015

New technology could slash consumption up to 30%.

02/27/2015

Design is low-cost and green while providing more energy storage.

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