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Tracking the Sun VII: An Historical Summary of the Installed Price of Photovoltaics in the United States from 1998 to 2013.


DE151164280

Publication Date 2014
Personal Author Barbose, G.; Darghouth, N.; Wiser, R.
Page Count 66
Abstract As the deployment of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has increased, so too has the desire to track the cost and price of these systems. This report helps to fill this need by summarizing trends in the installed price of grid-connected PV systems in the United States from 1998 through 2013, with partial data for the first half of 2014. The analysis is based on project- level data for more than 300,000 individual residential, commercial, and utility-scale PV systems installed across 33 states and representing 80% of all grid-connected PV capacity installed in the United States through 2013. It is essential to note at the outset what the data presented within this report represent. First, the data consist of prices paid to project developers or installers (prior to receipt of any incentives), and for a variety of reasons, those prices may differ from the underlying costs borne by project developers/installers. Second, the data are historical, focusing primarily on projects installed through the end of 2013, and therefore do not reflect the price of projects installed more recently (with the exception of the limited set of results presented for systems installed in the first half of 2014); nor are the data indicative of prices currently being quoted for prospective projects to be installed at a later date. For these reasons and others (see Text Box 1, within the main body), the results presented in this report may differ from current PV price or cost benchmarks. Third, by focusing on the up-front price paid by the PV system owner prior, the report does not capture trends associated with PV performance or other factors that impact the levelized cost of electricity for PV. Finally, the underlying data collected for this report include third party owned (TPO) projects where either the system is leased to the site-host or the generation output is sold to the site-host under a power purchase agreement. For a subset of TPO systems, the installed price data represent appraised values rather than transaction prices, and those projects were removed from the data sample in order to eliminate any associated bias (see Section 2 and Appendix A for further details). The report presents one set of installed price trends for residential and commercial PV systems, and another set for utility-scale PV. In all cases, installed prices are identified in terms of real 2013 dollars per installed watt (DC-STC), prior to receipt of any direct financial incentives or tax credits.
Keywords
  • Photovoltaic power supplies
  • Solar energy
  • Costs
  • Electricity
  • Grids
  • Historical data
  • Installation
  • Market
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Tracking
  • Trends
Source Agency
  • Technical Information Center Oak Ridge Tennessee
NTIS Subject Category
  • 97N - Solar Energy
  • 97O - Miscellaneous Energy Conversion & Storage
Corporate Authors Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., CA.; Department of Energy, Washington, DC.
Supplemental Notes Sponsored by Department of Energy, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical Report
NTIS Issue Number 201518
Contract Number
  • DE-AC02-05CH11231
Tracking the Sun VII: An Historical Summary of the Installed Price of Photovoltaics in the United States from 1998 to 2013.
Tracking the Sun VII: An Historical Summary of the Installed Price of Photovoltaics in the United States from 1998 to 2013.
DE151164280

  • Photovoltaic power supplies
  • Solar energy
  • Costs
  • Electricity
  • Grids
  • Historical data
  • Installation
  • Market
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Tracking
  • Trends
  • Technical Information Center Oak Ridge Tennessee
  • 97N - Solar Energy
  • 97O - Miscellaneous Energy Conversion & Storage
  • DE-AC02-05CH11231
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