Berkeley Lab report analyzes distributed solar progress
- Sep 15, 2021 11:25 pm GMT
Berkeley Lab released its latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual report describing pricing and design trends for grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States. The latest edition is based on data from roughly 2.2 million systems installed nationally through year-end 2020, representing 78% of all systems.
The report describes trends related to:
• Project characteristics, including system size, module efficiencies, prevalence of paired PV with storage, use of module-level power electronics, third-party ownership, mounting configurations, panel orientation, and non-residential customer segmentation.
• Median installed-price trends, including both long-term and more recent temporal trends at the national and state levels, with comparisons to other recent PV cost and pricing benchmarks as well as to prices reported for other countries.
• Variability in pricing across individual projects based on system size, state, installer, module efficiency, inverter technology, and non-residential customer type. The report also includes an econometric analysis to estimate the effects of individual pricing drivers on installed prices for host-owned residential systems installed in 2020.
The report, published in slide-deck format, is accompanied by a narrative summary briefing, interactive data visualizations, public data file, and summary data tables. In addition, the authors will host a webinar summarizing key findings from the report on September 22 at 10 am Pacific/ 1 pm Eastern time. Please register for the webinar here.
In one of the key trends from the report, installed prices for residential, small non-residential, and large non-residential systems have fallen over the long-term by roughly $0.4 per Watt (W) per year, on average, but have tapered off since 2014, dropping by $0.2/W per year since then. Over the last year of the analysis period (2019-2020), median prices for residential systems remained effectively flat at $3.8/W, while price declines in the non-residential sector continued on their recent historical trajectory, falling by $0.2/W for both small and large non-residential systems.
For further discussion of these and other key market trends, join the webinar or refer to the report and accompanying data resources.
The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.
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