A new report from the U.S. Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) documents price declines for solar panels in the past year of up to 19%, with up to 12% more reductions forecast for the coming year. PV magazine summarizes:
Modeled utility-scale PV system prices fell below $2 a watt in 2013 and have continued to decline in 2014 to roughly $1.80 a watt, which is 59% below what modeled pricing showed in 2010.
There is a difference of roughly $2 a watt between the median reported price of the lowest and highest-priced states for residential and commercial systems (less than 10 kW in size); a similar price range also exists within individual states.
There is a wide-range in analysts’ PV pricing estimates, however a number of analysts are now projecting long-term pricing in line with the targets set by the [DOE] SunShot Initiative for 2020. At these pricing levels, PV is expected to reach widespread grid parity in the U.S. without federal or state subsidies.
All good news for providing ubiquitous and cheap clean energy. Now if only battery prices can achieve the same price decreases, solving climate change, cleaning the air, and keeping our energy dollars local will become a given.