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Solar System Pricing Dropped By 9% In 2014

Solar system pricing dropped by 9–12% over the course of 2014, according to new research published by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

As part of the partnership’s US Solar Market Insight, 2014 Year-in-Review report, the authors provided national solar PV system pricing based on tracked wholesale pricing of major solar components and data collected from major installers, with the national average pricing supplemented by data collected from utility and state programs.

Accordingly, system costs dropped by 9–12% over the course of 2014, depending on the market segment. Costs have been driven down almost across the board, thanks to competition amongst hardware suppliers, more efficient installation and operations, industry scale, and more aggressive bidding — nevertheless, PV module costs have remained relatively stable, with total installation costs for utility-scale and large commercial-scale systems falling below $2.00/W DC, and have now fallen under 2011 module costs.

US National Average System Costs by Market Segment


While the majority of analysis is constricted to the paid report, GTM and the SEIA provided substantial information in the executive summary of the report given to outlets.

National residential system costs came in at a weighted national average of $3.48/Wdc in the fourth quarter of 2014, which represents a 3.3% decrease quarter over quarter.

Residential Turnkey Rooftop PV System Installed Costs, Q1 2014-Q4 2014


The residential PV market has seen the sharpest cost declines of the three solar PV segments, with a weighted average pricing in the segment falling by $0.40/Wdc from 2013. Soft costs still account for 60% of system costs, but “tremendous cost-reduction efforts resulted in more efficient installations and operations throughout 2014.

Medium-scale costs were $2.25/Wdc for the fourth quarter of 2014, with a full-year blended average of $2.36/Wdc, representing a 20% decline year-over-year.

Non-Residential Turnkey Rooftop PV System Installed Costs, Q1 2014-Q4 2014


National utility costs also dropped, with fixed-tilt utility systems coming in at $1.55/Wdc in the fourth quarter, and costs for systems installed in Q4 2014 coming in as low as $1.40/Wdc and as high as $2.10/Wdc.

Utility Turnkey PV System Turnkey Pricing, Q1 2014-Q4 2014


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