Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
The U.S. has a hodge-podge of utility, state and federal tax-based incentives. The Germans have a comprehensive feed-in tariff, providing CLEAN contracts (in the U.S. parlance) to anyone who wants to go solar (or wind, or biogas, etc). What does that mean for the price of solar?

Clean Power

German Small Solar Cheaper Than U.S. Big Solar

The U.S. has a hodge-podge of utility, state and federal tax-based incentives. The Germans have a comprehensive feed-in tariff, providing CLEAN contracts (in the U.S. parlance) to anyone who wants to go solar (or wind, or biogas, etc). What does that mean for the price of solar?

The U.S. has a hodge-podge of utility, state and federal tax-based incentives.  The Germans have a comprehensive feed-in tariff, providing CLEAN contracts (in the U.S. parlance) to anyone who wants to go solar (or wind, or biogas, etc).  What does that mean for the price of solar?

From a study of U.S. solar prices reported in Renewables International:

Perhaps most surprisingly, the study found that the planned arrays [in the U.S.] larger than one megawatt have an average installed price of $4.50 per watt, with only a third of the systems in the pipeline coming in at prices below four dollars per watt. As Renewables International reported in January, the installed system price of photovoltaics in the US was easily 60 percent above the level in Germany in 2010 for equivalent system sizes (arrays smaller than 100 kilowatts).

While large-scale U.S. solar comes in at $4.50 per Watt, small-scale German solar (10-100 kilowatts) averaged $3.90 per Watt in 2010 and $3.40 per Watt in the 2nd quarter of 2011.  The German price advantage in solar is like having a pint of your favorite craft or microbrew beer for less than a Budweiser.

Of course, price comparisons are tricky, because the U.S. has no clearinghouse for solar installation data (again, the result of its hodge-podge federal-state-local policies).  A just-released study of U.S. solar prices by the Solar Energy Industries Association found utility-constructed solar in the U.S. is now being installed at $3.75 per Watt.  It’s not clear how much overlap there is between that data and the Renewables International report of $4.50 per Watt for solar 1 megawatt and larger.

Either way, small German rooftop solar is still beating U.S. large-scale solar.  Here’s a chart illustrating that cost differential, with U.S. and German prices updated for the 2nd quarter of 2011.

germany solar prices us solar prices

If the German solar prices are wunderbar, that makes the U.S. “furchtbar.”

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project.

 


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

John directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at jfarrell@ilsr.org.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Originally published on EVmatch. By Jeff Pickett There have been some exciting recent developments for adventuresome EVangelists such as myself. While much of driving for...

Batteries

Originally published on RMI.org. By Madeline Tyson President Biden’s infrastructure plan (The American Jobs Plan) aligns recovery stimulus and climate action. This is smart: experts conclude that the green stimulus delivers high returns...

Clean Power

Louisiana is poised to lead global green ammonia revolution if all goes according to plan, Mitch or no Mitch.

Clean Power

Rooftop solar, energy storage, and EV charging are front and center in Ford's plans for its Research & Engineering Center in Dearborn, Michigan --...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.