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Economic and dam related articles

Solar Prices Still
Falling Fast, Study Finds

by Gina-Marie Cheeseman
Triple Pundit, October 27, 2014

Flickr: Christine - My grandpa wanted to put a wind turbine in the hay field behind here, but he was told that the area wasn't windy enough for them to be worthwhile. So, not to be deterred from his alternative energy aspirations, he bought some solar panels instead. Solar prices continue to drop, according to the findings of a joint report by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices decreased by 12 to 19 percent nationwide in 2013. Prices in 2014 are expected to drop by another 3 to 12 percent -- and this trend is expected to continue through 2016.

PV system prices of residential and commercial systems dropped by 6 to 7 percent per year from 1998 to 2013 -- and by 12 to 15 percent from 2012 to 2013. Market analysts expect system prices to continue to drop. The Department of Energy SunShot Initiative aims to reduce PV system prices by 75 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Other findings in the report include:

A report by the Solar Energy Industries Association for the second quarter of 2014 found that the price for the national average PV installed system price dropped by 9 percent. The average price of a residential PV installation in the second quarter of 2014 dropped 41 percent from 2010. Since the second quarter of 2010, the average price of a solar panel dropped by 64 percent.

For the first half of the year, 53 percent of all new electric capacity installed has come from solar. Through the first half of the year, a new solar project has been installed every 3.2 minutes.

All three PV market segments grew significantly year over year. Over 6,500 megawatts of PV is predicted to come online in 2014, representative of a 36 percent growth over last year's record installation levels.

There are over half a million solar installations now online in the U.S. The U.S. solar market topped the gigawatt mark for the third consecutive quarter to settle at 1,133 megawatts. That represents a 21 percent growth over the second quarter of last year and brings cumulative installed solar capacity to 15,900 MW, enough to power more than 3.2 million average American homes.

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
Solar Prices Still Falling Fast, Study Finds
Triple Pundit, October 27, 2014

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