U.S. Solar Market Insight™ is a collaboration between the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) and GTM Research that brings high-quality, solar-specific analysis and forecasts to industry professionals in the form of quarterly and annual reports. Released June 9, 2015.
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The Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group has released new best practices guidelines for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, with the goal of increasing investor confidence in the long-term viability of PV systems.
Utilities have taken on the practice of applying standby and fixed cost charges specific to solar PV for customers choosing to go solar as a means to recover costs resulting from net energy metering (NEM).
While PV modules and other hardware costs have dropped significantly over recent years, non-hardware soft costs have also fallen, but not nearly as sharply.
Lawrence Berkley National Lab's "Tracking the Sun" is an annual report that tracks and analyzes installed prices of solar PV. The report analyzes more than 300,000 individual residential, commercial and utility scale PV systems in 33 states.
A recent joint report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that installed PV system prices in Japan are 6% lower than U.S. prices in the residential sector, and 20% lower than U.S. prices in the small commercial sector. Some of this difference is attributed to lower soft costs in Japan.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released a report that breaks down the ‘soft costs’ associated with the installation of residential and commercial photovoltaic systems in greater detail than ever before, with detailed looks at customer acquisition and system design costs, as well as permitting, inspection and interconnection costs.
A new study from the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Georgia Tech Research Institute finds that U.S PV installation labor costs can be decreased from $0.49/watt to $0.29/watt by utilizing installation best practices. Researchers studied installation practices at 26 sites in the U.S. and Germany to determine current practices and future opportunities.
A recent NREL report finds that the use of public capital (asset-backed securities, investment pools and real estate investment trusts) can lower the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) by up to $0.16 for residential projects and $0.08 for utility projects. As consumer confidence in securitization grows, prices could fall by as much as 30%.
A recent Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report finds that streamlined city permitting practices can reduce the cost of installed PV systems by $0.27-$0.77 per watt, relative to cities with less favorable permitting standards. Development times can be shorted by an average of 24 days, under favorable permitting standards.