U.S. photo voltaic PV system prices fell throughout all market segments from 2019 to 2020 as module costs continued to drive system prices down. Whereas shortages of glass and ethylene-vinyl acetate laminate precipitated photo voltaic module costs to extend on the finish of 2020, module costs nonetheless fell on a year-over-year foundation.

In response to Wooden Mackenzie’s just lately launched U.S. photo voltaic PV system worth report, common 100-megawatt utility-scale system prices in 2020 are $zero.94/W, with the potential to fall 19% by 2025 (all watt figures proven are DC). These prices will fall 13% from 2021 to 2022, pushed by module worth discount as Part 201 tariffs are anticipated to section out for imported merchandise.

Common U.S. utility-scale 100 MW single-axis tracker all-in PV system prices with bifacial modules and 1,500-volt central inverter

Supply: Wooden Mackenzie’s U.S. Photo voltaic PV System Pricing: H2 2020

Observe: This price forecast doesn’t assume a Part 201 extension or improve situation.

Additional, common business rooftop system prices in 2020 are $1.65/W and anticipated to fall 16% by 2025, in keeping with Wooden Mackenzie, assuming a 500-kilowatt flat roof system with string inverters and monofacial, monocrystalline passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) photo voltaic modules. Within the residential phase, common system costs are $three.10/W in 2020, assuming microinverters and monofacial, monocrystalline PERC photo voltaic modules.

After all, system prices change by state, pushed by labor price variations, interconnection prices, allowing processes, and different elements. Consequently, these prices can fluctuate by about 40% to 50% by the state, inside every market phase.

Tariffs on imported merchandise proceed to impression system prices. Part 201 tariffs for bifacial photo voltaic cell and module imports into the U.S. have been reinstated as of November 2020. Bifacial monocrystalline PERC photo voltaic module costs imported from Southeast Asia to the U.S. have been cheaper than monofacial, monocrystalline PERC costs in 2020, whereas bifacial modules have been exempt from these tariffs. Nevertheless, with out the bifacial exemption, these module costs are about eight% greater than monofacial, monocrystalline PERC costs.

Some inverter costs elevated in 2020 on account of residual Part 301 tariff impacts. These tariffs have an effect on all inverters imported from China to the US, and the speed was elevated from 10% to 25% in 2019. Whereas this primarily precipitated inverter worth hikes in 2019, there have been extra will increase in costs within the residential phase in 2020. Single-phase string inverter and microinverter costs noticed additional will increase in 2020, which saved common residential system costs from falling as rapidly.

With the brand new surge in COVID-19 instances within the U.S., all market segments are anticipated to be extra resilient to deal with the ramifications than when the pandemic first hit the nation in early 2020. After all, this assumes photo voltaic PV development might be allowed to proceed with any new shelter-in-place orders. Within the residential phase, which has shorter venture cycles in comparison with the business and utility-scale segments, digital buyer acquisition and allowing processes are extra established and streamlined now.

Additional impacts from COVID-19 in addition to the destiny of the funding tax credit score will decide how a lot decrease buyer acquisition prices can go for residential photo voltaic, however there’s potential for these prices to say no quicker than initially forecast, particularly for corporations which have costly processes in place.

As of now, these prices make up roughly one-quarter of complete residential system prices, but when any efficiencies realized in 2020 show to be worthwhile, there’s potential for these prices to symbolize a smaller portion of general system prices. Mushy price discount continues to be prime of thoughts for corporations working in all market segments, and a discount in buyer acquisition prices may yield extra aggressive system costs.

Undertaking capability climbs and larger-format modules achieve traction

Undertaking capacities are rising, notably for large-scale floor mounts within the utility-scale area. With bigger initiatives come economies of scale advantages. Common 100 MW single-axis tracker system prices within the U.S. could be eight% lower than 10 MW techniques in 2020.

Nevertheless, procurement methods and tender price optimization will decide simply how a lot prices could be diminished on a greenback per put in watt foundation with extra megawatts put in. prices can solely go so low. Different prices equivalent to venture administration, due diligence, and labor can yield extra cost-per-watt advantages.

Photo voltaic module energy lessons will proceed to extend, particularly as bigger format wafers come onto the scene. These modules might be bodily bigger and heavier, however with greater energy scores. Consequently, builders and engineering, procurement and development suppliers are analyzing their price stacks to grasp the complete financial savings potential and decide how labor prices is perhaps impacted.

Study extra concerning the Wooden Mackenzie U.S. PV pricing report.

Molly Cox is a photo voltaic analyst with Wooden Mackenzie

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