Tracking the Sun VIII: The Installed Price of Residential and Non-Residential Photovoltaic Systems in the United States

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-188238_1.pdf

[Utility Dive] The national average installed cost of residential solar fell 9% from 2013 to 2014, and 8% in the first half of 2015, a pace similar to price declines when module prices were also plummeting, according to “Tracking the Sun VIII,” the annual survey of U.S. photovoltaic solar prices from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

“We have concluded that we are seeing the results of all the focus from the industry on soft costs,” explained LBNL Electricity Markets and Policy GroupResearch Scientist Galen Barbose.

The 2013 to 2014 drop in the residential system cost was almost entirely due to soft costs, which include “marketing and customer acquisition, system design, installation labor, permitting and inspection costs, and installer margins,” the paper reports…

“There are a lot of diffuse soft cost impacts that are hard to be precise about, but it is pretty easy to conclude the effort in the industry and in the Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot soft costs program is driving the cost drops,” Barbose added…

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