Berkeley Lab: Solar Price Declines While Local Regulatory Processes Can Impact System Prices.

The price of solar energy in the United States continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports produced by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

A third Berkeley Lab report, written in collaboration with researchers at Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), shows that local permitting and other regulatory procedures can significantly impact residential photovoltaic (PV) prices.

According to the second edition of the Utility-Scale Solar report, larger utility-scale solar projects in the United States have made great strides in delivering competitively priced renewable electricity in recent years.

“The price of electricity sold to utilities under long term contracts from large-scale solar power projects has fallen by more than 70% since 2008, to just $50/MWh on average within a sample of contracts signed in 2013 or 2014 and concentrated among projects located in the southwestern United States,” explains Mark Bolinger of Berkeley Lab, one of the report’s authors.

Meanwhile, the average, up-front installed price of utility-scale PV projects dropped by more than one-third since the 2007-2009 period, and average project-level performance has also increased recently. (9/17/14)

 

Report: Utility-Scale Solar 2013: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States

 

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