Can U.S. PV Prices Go Lower?
March 1, 2012
Title: Residential, Commercial, and Utility-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) System Prices in the
United States: Current Drivers and Cost-Reduction Opportunities
Authors: Alan Goodrich, Ted James, and Michael Woodhouse, NREL
The price of PV systems in the United States (i.e., the cost to the system owner) has dropped precipitously in recent years, led by substantial reductions in global PV module prices. However, system cost reductions are not necessarily realized or realized in a timely manner by many customers. Many reasons exist for the apparent disconnects between installation costs, component prices, and system prices; most notable is the impact of fair market value considerations on system prices. To guide policy and research and development strategy decisions, it is necessary to develop a granular perspective on the factors that underlie PV system prices and to eliminate subjective pricing parameters. This report's analysis of the overnight capital costs (cash purchase) paid for PV systems attempts to establish an objective methodology that most closely approximates the book value of PV system assets.