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This content will become publicly available on August 9, 2018

Title: What factors affect the prices of low-priced U.S. solar PV systems?

The price of solar PV systems has declined rapidly, yet there are some much lower-priced systems than others. This study explores the factors that determine prices in these low-priced (LP) systems. Using a data set of 42,611 residential-scale PV systems installed in the U.S. in 2013, we use quantile regressions to estimate the importance of factors affecting the installed prices for LP systems (those at the 10th percentile) in comparison to median-priced systems. We find that the value of solar to consumers-a variable that accounts for subsidies, electric rates, and PV generation levels-is associated with lower prices for LP systems but higher prices for median priced systems. Conversely, systems installed in new home construction are associated with lower prices at the median but higher prices for LP. Other variables have larger price-reducing effects on LP than on median priced systems: systems installed in Arizona and Florida, as well as commercial and thin film systems. In contrast, the following have a smaller effect on prices for LP systems than median priced systems: tracking systems, self-installations, systems installed in Massachusetts, the system size, and installer experience. Furthermore, these results highlight the complex factors at play that lead to LP systems and shedmore » light into how such LP systems can come about.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (United States); Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (Germany)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (United States)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States)
  5. Univ. of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-69041
Journal ID: ISSN 0960-1481
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Renewable Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: PB; Journal ID: ISSN 0960-1481
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; subsidies; solar; PV; price dispersion; technological change
OSTI Identifier:
1390041