By Anne Fischer, Managing Editor, Solar Novus Today
It was not so long ago that the holy grail of solar pricing was to achieve the price of $1.00 per module. With supply of solar modules far exceeding demand, prices have dropped precipitously, and module costs are now well below $1. According to Greentech Media’s (GTM) recent “PV Technology and Cost Outlook, 2013-2017”, c-Si module prices have fallen approximately 70% in two years.
According to the report “Solar PV Modules – Market Size, Annual Production, Average Price, Competitive Landscape and Key Country Analysis to 2020” from Global Data, solar PV module prices have dropped drastically since 2006, when the average price was $3.8/W. In 2012, the price of a module was $0.91/W, and Global Data analysts expect it to fall further over the coming years, reaching $0.25/W in 2020.
Dropping prices of solar modules translates to lower installation costs. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association/GTM “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q3/2013” the price of a complete PV installation has dropped 16% over the past year.
And perhaps one of the most optimistic forecasts for the solar industry is the Lux Research report that estimates that utility-scale solar will be cost competitive with natural gas by 2025. At that point, solar will have established itself as a mainstream source of energy.