SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON, DC (PRWEB) September 17, 2014
The average cost of going solar in the United States continued its rapid decline in 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to a new study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Two leading solar advocacy groups, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar, applaud the report findings as the latest indicator that affordable solar energy is ready to power our new energy economy.
“In just a few years, American ingenuity and smart policy have made solar a true success story. These price declines mean that solar power is now an affordable option for families, schools, businesses and utilities alike,” said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar. “The result is that solar and its many grid, economic and environmental benefits are shining in communities across the country.”
“This report highlights yet another reason why solar energy has become such a remarkable American success story. Today, solar provides 143,000 good-paying jobs nationwide, pumps nearly $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy and is helping to significantly reduce pollution,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. “There are now more than half a million American homes, businesses and schools with installed solar, and this is good news for freedom of energy choice as well as for our environment.”
The seventh edition of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Tracking the Sun, an annual report on solar photovoltaic (PV) costs in the U.S., examined more than 300,000 PV systems installed between 1998 and 2013 and preliminary data from the first half of 2014. Key findings include:
- Installed prices continued their significant decline in 2013, falling year-over-year by 12 to 15 percent depending on system size.
- Data for systems installed in a number of the largest state markets – Arizona, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York – during the first six months of 2014 found that the median installed price of systems installed in the first half of 2014 fell by an additional 5-12 percent, depending on system size, over 2013.
- Solar installed costs declined even as PV module pricing remained relatively steady, indicating success in efforts targeting non-module soft costs – which include marketing and customer acquisition, system design, installation labor, and the various costs associated with permitting and inspections.
- Cash incentives provided through state and utility PV incentive programs (i.e., rebates and performance-based incentives) have fallen by 85 to 95 percent since their peak a decade ago.
The National Lab notes that these findings mark the fourth consecutive year of major cost reductions for the U.S. solar industry. Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the United States, employing 143,000 Americans, pumping $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy and helping to reduce pollution.
The full Tracking the Sun report is available here: http://emp.lbl.gov/publications/tracking-sun-vii-historical-summary-installed-price-photovoltaics-united-states-1998-20
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at http://www.seia.org.
About Vote Solar:
Founded in 2002, Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to make solar more accessible and more affordable for more Americans. http://www.votesolar.org
Samantha Page, SEIA Press Officer and Communications Manager, spage(at)seia(dot)org (202) 556-2886
Rosalind Jackson, Vote Solar Director of External Relations, Rosalind(at)votesolar(dot)org (415) 817-5061