Tracking SunShot Initiative Progress: Utility-Scale Prices Falling Faster Than Residential Solar

December 2015

A primary objective of U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative is to reduce the price of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies by approximately 75% from between 2010 and 2020. With 2020 target just over the horizon, ScottMadden reviewed progress in solar PV price reductions to date. The analysis shows the prices of utility-scale solar PV systems in the United States have fallen more sharply than residential solar system prices from 2010 to 2015. A primary reason for the difference is declining module costs have had a greater impact on utility-scale system prices given their larger share of total project costs. Consequently, utility-scale systems can offer electric utilities economic and operational advantages over residential systems. This article provides insight into the rapid price decline for solar PV systems, compares utility-scale solar PV price declines to residential solar PV price declines, and discusses implications, including the potential for each market sector to reach SunShot Initiative targets.

Additional Contributing Authors: Davis Bourland

view more

Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

Welcome to ScottMadden!

Sussex Economic Advisors is now part of ScottMadden. We invite you to learn more about our expanded firm. Please use the Contact Us form to request additional information.