CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world.


Clean Power solar-now

Published on October 22nd, 2009 | by Zachary Shahan

4

Solar Report Shows 30% Decrease in Cost of Solar Over 10 Years

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

October 22nd, 2009 by Zachary Shahan
 

Just the other day, I wrote that it was a great time to go solar, especially due to the great rebates and discounts on solar technology. Apparently, I jumped the gun and was a few days early. A new report by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab — “Tracking the Sun II: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the US from 1998-2008” — shows a significant decrease in solar costs over the last ten years and shows that now is a great time to go solar.

As PV-tech.org reports, “the average cost of going solar in the US has declined by more than 30% between 1998 and 2008.” Lawrence Berkeley National Lab tracked changes between 1998 and 2008 and found different rates of dropping costs and different reasons for it throughout the years, but in the end the overall drop is quite significant. Also, after remaining essentially the same for a few years (2005-2007), the costs finally dropped again between 2007 and 2008, from an average of $7.8/W to $7.5/W.

[social_buttons]

Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative, says: “The bottom line is that affordable solar is no longer a vision for the future, it’s very much here now, ready to be a significant part of our nation’s energy mix.”

PV technology shows important economies of scale now as well. Systems completed in 2008 with ≤2kW average $9.2/W and 500-750 kW systems average $6.5/W — large systems cost about 30% less than the smallest systems.

US a Solar Leader

The US was the third largest PV market in 2009 (according to annual capacity additions), only behind Spain and Germany. This is at a time of dramatic increase in installed PV across the globe — 5,948 MW of PV were installed in 2008 compared to 2,826 MW in 2007.

The researchers examined 52,000 residential and non-residential systems across the US to create this report. In total, these systems accounted for 71% of all “grid-connected PV capacity installed in the US through 2008.” Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found quite a wide range in the costs across the United States. Average net installed costs ranged from $3.5/W in New York to $6.9/W in Vermont.

Government Supporting Solar, as Asked

A major reason for the increasingly lower costs and, therefore, for more and more installations is local, state and federal government incentives. The government is putting in the money the public is asking for. This is helping in great measures to get the costs down.

The time seems to be now. If you haven’t kept up with the changes yourself, you can see from this report that costs have dropped considerably in the last ten years and you can get great deals on solar now. Hopefully, this will encourage you or you and your neighbors to go out and get solar.

via pv-tech.org

Related Articles:

1) Survey Says!.. 92% of Americans Want Solar Power

2) Where are the Gaps in the Solar Marketplace?

3) Solar Energy Blowing Up, & in Surprising Places!

Image Credit: ►Voj► via flickr under a Creative Commons license

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Print Friendly

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , , ,


About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • 1fortheroad

    Strange claim. The net cost of installing solar power on my house in Santa Monica 10 years ago is within pennies of the bid I received to do the same job in April of this year. Even with the 30% Fed Tax credit on net costs. The advertised rebate from the local power company (LA DWP) at 48% never nets out to that so the LA DWP rebate is much lower (typically 30%). This makes the long term capital investment in the product not smart. In my case, 17 years. That’s too long to invest in current technology. Better to wait if you are interested in retrofitting an existing home in Southern California.

  • 1fortheroad

    Strange claim. The net cost of installing solar power on my house in Santa Monica 10 years ago is within pennies of the bid I received to do the same job in April of this year. Even with the 30% Fed Tax credit on net costs. The advertised rebate from the local power company (LA DWP) at 48% never nets out to that so the LA DWP rebate is much lower (typically 30%). This makes the long term capital investment in the product not smart. In my case, 17 years. That’s too long to invest in current technology. Better to wait if you are interested in retrofitting an existing home in Southern California.

  • Dean

    Where does someone go who may have a great idea on how to increase the efficiency of PV cells? Need a manufacturer of cells to pitch my idea too but haven’t found any companies that will respond to my efforts to contact them.

  • Dean

    Where does someone go who may have a great idea on how to increase the efficiency of PV cells? Need a manufacturer of cells to pitch my idea too but haven’t found any companies that will respond to my efforts to contact them.

Back to Top ↑