Why Are Residential PV Prices in Germany So Much Lower Than in the United States?

April 11, 2013 - 12:00pm
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The installed price of residential PV is significantly lower in Germany than in the United States - in Q3 2012 German systems were priced on average at $2.50/W while U.S. systems were priced nearly twice as high around $5.20/W. These pricing differences accumulate to about $13,500 for a 5kW residential system and stem primarily from differences in “soft” costs, but little detail is known about how soft cost components differ between the two countries, or why.  In order to better characterize the nature of these differences, LBNL fielded surveys of German PV installers, adapted from a survey instrument that NREL previously fielded to U.S. installers, in order to collect data on residential PV soft costs in Germany that could be readily compared to data from the U.S.   The presentation will present the results of this survey analysis, along with a broader comparison and discussion of underlying drivers for soft cost differences between the U.S. and Germany, with a focus on customer-owned residential PV systems.  

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