Solar panel prices continue their decline
Prices on solar panels are down as much as 7 percent this year.
Solar prices are still falling, and while it’s not the off-the-cliff variety of 2011, the price declines continue to complicate the industry as a whole.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a study this week that shows prices have fallen between 11 and 14 percent for large and small systems in 2011.
So far this year, prices are down between 3 and 7 percent, according to the report, which looked at the cost of more than 150,000 solar systems in the U.S. installed between 1998 and 2011.
To put that drop in perspective, prices typically decline 5 to 7 percent per year and have do so since 1998.
“This report shows just how far solar power has come in the U.S., and how much more we can do. Faced with a recession economy, messy election politics and an entrenched electricity marketplace, solar is quietly defying the odds and reinventing our national energy landscape. It’s really remarkable,” said Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative.
Those costs not only include the panels, but what is known as the “balance of system,” which is everything else from brackets to labor to get the system on a roof.
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