Report Shows Significant Declines in Price of Solar Energy

It’s a good day for renewable resources.

According to a jointly written report of solar photovoltaic systems (PV) pricing trends from the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), prices have dropped by 12 to 19 percent nationwide in 2013.

The report goes on to state that prices are expected to drop an additional 3 to 12 percent in 2014. The variation in percentage is dependent on the system location and market segment.

“The report also indicates that there are significant variations in reported pricing both geographically and across market segments due to a variety of factors, including value-based pricing based on local competition within the marketplace and prevailing electric retail rates,” said NREL’s David Feldman, a lead author of the report. “Other factors include differences in specific system configurations such as panel efficiency, mounting structure, and geographic location; and the time lags between commitments and commercial operation for utility-scale systems.”

With these numbers, the DOE SunShot Initiative is right on track to meet its 2020 target and make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional forms of energy.

Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity.

At ECS, we’re hoping to aid in the driving down of cost by publishing the very best research in solar energy.

With our pledge to move toward open access, we hope to make scientific research results and findings more widely accessible in order to speed up the scientific discovery process and help make things such as wide-spread solar energy realistic and cost-competitive. You can support those efforts by donating to the ECS Publications Endowment.

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