A report released by Duestche Bank predicts a strong drop in US residential home solar power prices over the next several years spurring continued growth of the market. According to the report, module prices (the complete solar panel) may drop by up to 40% in the next several quarters to below $0.40 per watt.
Prices for US Residential Home Solar Power systems continued to drop in 2015 and early 2016 preserving the industry trend of steady price reductions. Installed prices, before incentives, for residential solar systems dropped by approximately 5% or $0.20 per watt nationwide, and 7% or $0.30 per watt for "smaller" (under 500KW) non residential or light commercial solar systems.
The cost of a residential home solar power system dropped an impressive 8.3% in Q1 2016 over the previous quarter. The reduction in installed price was attributed to a combination of factors including: lower hardware and equipment costs, combined with strong attention to installation, permitting and other "soft costs".
If you're reading this, chances are you're at least a little bit interested in learning more about solar power costs for your home or business. You may have heard that solar photovoltaic (PV) panel systems are expensive. This has been true in the past, but in many instances, solar panels can save you a lot of money over your current utility bill. Indeed, the price of solar panels has dropped almost 80% over the last decade, with total installed systems costs including labor and permitting dropping over 55%.
California home solar power system pricing shows a tight cluster of what homeowners are actually paying, which reflects the maturity and the competitiveness of the California solar market. Additionally, we've seen the dramatic reduction in prices for home solar power in the state over the last ten years. When shopping for a California home solar power system one of the first questions that comes up is how much will the system cost? The price of the actual solar equipment plus the installation, permitting, labor and other items add up to the total system cost, which then becomes the baseline of the economic payback of the system. Let's take a look...
Awesome Video Graphic titled "Why 2º C?" produced for the December Global COP21 climate conference in Paris:
Why should we care about a 2º C (3.6° F) rise in global temperature; doesn't seem like much right? Most of the time GetSolar talks about the financial benefits of installing a solar electric system, because in many markets of the United States, the financial benefits are very good all by themselves. With the impressive drop in solar panel system costs, combined with the renewed 30% Solar Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the financial rationale alone is indeed compelling enough. However, the reason GetSolar exists is because we believe and understand the undeniable need to transtion the United States and the World to a clean-energy system. Solar and wind in particular, along with several other clean energy generation systems do not "burn" any fuel to produce electricity, they do not "emit" anything into the air as a byproduct of electricity generation, and hence they help solve the problem and smooth the transition to a lower carbon economy. This transition will be a long term process, using many different tools and techniques to address our energy needs.
A new report this week by GTM Research indicates their analysis shows solar electricity is at or below cost parity in no less than 20 US States. This is a remarkable shift in the economics of solar cleantech in just a few short years. It has been widely known for quite some time that on a National level in the US, fossil fuel generated electricity has not had to "pay" for any of the negative externalities associated with their CO2 and pollution emmissions. Essentially receiving a "free ride" in the larger scheme of classical economic analysis. Solar photovoltaic panels on the other hand do not emit CO2 or pollution in the course of electricity generation. As such, they are a more "valuable" form of energy production, due to their clean nature, and hence their early higher cost. (A general rule of thumb is that the energy and emmissions required to manufacture and transport a solar panel is recouped after 18 to 24 months of electricity production). Many individual states have "portfolio mixes" of clean and dirty electricity, know as Renewable Portfolio Standards ( RPS), and the US Federal Clean Power Plan will be expanding this landscape over time.
Great video of two SunEdison utility scale power plants using the NEXTracker system in the Atacama of northern Chile. The Crucero Project of 71 MWp using 236,320 solar panels, and the Javiera Project of 69 MWp using 231,074 panels. High efficiency utility scale tracking systems can increase electricity production by an impressive 40% over a fixed-mount array. At utility sizes like this, that is a huge iincrease in output. The video shows the shear scale of this type of project, and the depth of design and engineering that goes into clean energy production.
2015 is shaping up to have been a banner year for American solar energy, and 2016 looks to be just as good. With the extension of the US Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, 2016 will almost surely see the One Millionth solar installation in the first half of the year. According to the research report GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight, over 7 GW (gigawatts) will be installed in 2015, and forecasts are for 2016 to almost double that number. This would put total US installed solar capacity at roughly 40 GW by the end of 2016.