BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 26 (UPI) — U.S. government scientists say the installed costs of solar power systems in the nation declined by more than 30 percent between 1998 and 2008.
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studied the costs of solar photovoltaic power systems and found the average cost of such systems dropped by more than 4 percent last year.
The scientists said the number of such solar systems in the U.S. has been growing at a rapid rate in recent years and with that growth comes a greater need to track and understand trends in the installed cost of solar photovoltaic power systems.
“A goal of government incentive programs is to help drive the cost of PV systems lower. One purpose of this study is to provide reliable information about the costs of installed systems over time,” report co-author Ryan Wiser said.
Researchers said they examined 52,000 grid-connected PV systems installed between 1998 and 2008 in 16 states. They found the average installed costs, in terms of real 2008 dollars, declined from $10.80 per watt in 1998 to $7.50 per watt during 2008, equivalent to an average annual reduction of 3.6 percent per year in real dollars.
The study by Wiser, Galen Barbose, Carla Peterman and Naim Darghouth is available at http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/lbnl-2674e.pdf.
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