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Price Of Solar Systems Continues To Drop In US

Rooftop solar panels, San Francisco

The price of solar photovoltaic power systems (solar panels) has fallen substantially in the United States throughout 2011 and 2012, according to a new report. The average price of residential and commercial photovoltaic systems in 2011 fell as much as 11-14% from the year before.

The report, issued by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, also found that California prices dropped an additional 3-7% during the first half of 2012.

In 2011, the average installed price of photovoltaic systems was $6.10 per watt for systems less than 10 kilowatts in size, and $4.90 per watt for larger systems of 100 kilowatts or more in size. Those larger than 2,000 kilowatts in size averaged about $3.40 per watt. Today, the prices are even lower, and the report authors believe they will continue to drop due to large-scale deployment programs and other factors.

The downside to this is that the incentives for solar power have dropped as well, by as much as 80% over the past ten years. This might sound like a bad thing, but if prices for solar power continue to drop, customers may need nothing more than a drop in electricity costs as incentive to take the plunge.

Do you think this will lead to an increase in residential and commercial solar energy investments?

Image CC licensed by Chris Kantos: Rooftop solar San Francisco.

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