WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2016 - Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have published a new study that reveals the key market and system drivers for low-priced solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The study focuses on systems ranging in size from 1 to 15 kilowatts, and uses a variety of statistical methods to analyze a dataset of over 40,000 PV systems in 15 U.S. states.

Despite substantial recent cost reductions, installed prices for small-scale PV systems in the U.S. continue to show wide pricing differences depending on the location of the installation, the installer, the components of the system, and other factors, says Berkeley Lab’s Ryan Wiser, a co-author of the study.

Greg Nemet, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the report, says “We find that low-priced PV systems, those cheaper than 90 percent of other systems nationally, are more prevalent in local markets with fewer active installers, and are more likely to be installed by companies that have more county-level experience installing PV systems. Not surprisingly, low-priced PV systems are also associated with a variety of system characteristics. For example, such systems are more likely to be customer owned (vs. leased), be larger in size, and use lower-efficiency modules and are less likely to use tracking, building-integrated PV modules, micro-inverters and batteries.”

The research also finds that policy incentives can affect the prevalence of low-priced systems, though those influences are nuanced and require additional analysis to fully verify. 

“Widespread adoption of PV will depend, in part, on the economics of those systems,” explains Wiser. “By studying the attributes of low-priced PV systems, we can begin to identify what can be done to facilitate those conditions and thereby drive down PV system prices nationwide.”

The report, Characteristics of Low-Priced Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the United States, was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative.


For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com