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Solar Market Research and Analysis Publications

NREL researchers and analysts publish a variety of documents related to solar market research and analysis, including journal articles, conference papers, technical reports, white papers, and presentations.

Featured Publications

Best Practices Guide for Photovoltaic System Operations and Maintenance: This best-practices report on photovoltaic (PV) operations and maintenance (O&M) released by NREL and the PV O&M Working Group provides valuable insights on improving the performance of PV systems, extending their lifespan, and saving costs. The report is an expanded edition of an interim report published in 2015.

Distribution Grid Integration Unit Cost Database: This database contains unit cost information for different components that may be used to integrated distributed solar PV onto distribution systems. The database is focused on hardware and software costs, and the data was collected from a variety of utilities, PV developers, technology vendors, and published research reports.

Identifying Potential Markets for Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage: A Survey of U.S. Demand Charges: Commercial electricity customers who are subject to high demand charges may be able to reduce overall costs using battery energy storage to manage demand, according to this report by NREL.

Installed Cost Benchmarks and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar with Energy Storage: This report provides detailed component and system-level cost breakdowns for residential PV-plus-storage systems to date and quantifies previously unknown soft costs for the first time.

Solar Plus: A Holistic Approach to Distributed Solar PV: This report analyzes “solar plus,” an emerging approach to distributed solar PV deployment that uses energy storage and controllable devices to optimize customer economics.

Using Residential Solar Photovoltaic Quote Data to Analyze the Relationship Between Installer Pricing and Firm Size: This report takes an innovative look at the role of firm size in PV installer pricing. The analysis takes a novel approach to assessing pricing behavior by looking at paired quotes as opposed to installed prices across similar customers.

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2017: This report benchmarks PV costs, showing that the installed cost of solar power fell to record lows in the first quarter of 2017 because of the continuing decline in PV module and inverter prices, higher module efficiency, and lower labor costs.

The Value of Transparency in Distributed Solar PV Markets: NREL research analyzes data from a U.S. quote aggregator to study the effects of transparency on distributed solar PV markets.

More Publications

Find additional solar market analysis publications by searching the NREL publication database.