New Reports From NREL Document Continuing PV and PV-Plus-Storage Expense Declines

Nov 18, 2021 02:26 PM ET
  • Prices Continue to Fall for Residential, Commercial, and also Utility-Scale Solar as well as Power Storage Systems

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has actually released its yearly cost break down of set up solar photovoltaic (PV) as well as battery storage space systems. U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Price Benchmark: Q1 2021 information mounted costs for PV systems as of the first quarter of 2021.

Expenses remain to succumb to property, industrial roof, and utility-scale PV systems-- by 3%, 11%, and 12%, specifically, contrasted to last year. In a modification from previous years' reports, equilibrium of systems expenses have boosted or stayed level throughout fields this year. Nevertheless, this boost in balance of systems cost was balanced out by a 19% decrease in module price, triggering general prices to continue their decade-long decline.

The report's authors used a bottom-up expense modeling approach that makes up all system and project advancement prices incurred throughout installation to model the expenses for residential, commercial, as well as utility-scale PV systems, with as well as without power storage space. They additionally modeled normal installment strategies as well as company procedures from an installed-cost viewpoint. This technique makes certain that equipment expenses show the actual acquisition cost of parts along with the prices paid to the installer, including profits. The benchmarks presume a company atmosphere untouched by the novel coronavirus pandemic and also represent national standards.

" As the costs of construction-related raw materials have actually boosted throughout the pandemic, the total balance of systems product cost has either stayed relatively the same, or, in some cases, boosted by a minimal percentage compared to the equilibrium of systems set you back reported in the Q1 2020 benchmark report. The significant expense drivers that helped in reducing the system installment expenses of PV as well as power storage systems in Q1 2021 were reduced module expense, boosted module efficiency, as well as lower battery pack expense," stated NREL's solar and also storage space techno-economic expert, Vignesh Ramasamy.

Energy Storage Expenses Additionally Remain To Decline

Beginning with the 2020 PV benchmark report, NREL started including PV-plus-storage and also standalone power storage costs in its annual reports. The 2021 benchmark report discovers proceeded expense declines throughout property, business, and industrial PV-plus-storage systems, with the best price declines for utility-scale systems (as much as a 12.3% reduction). Standalone storage space systems likewise saw cost declines.

Different Report Digs Into Expense Declines for PV Modules

A major element of total installed system prices is the price of the PV modules. In a second report, Photovoltaic Module Technologies: 2020 Benchmark Prices and also Technology Evolution Framework Results, NREL scientists compute a minimum lasting cost (MSP)-- the price necessary to support a lasting business over the long-term-- for modules. Particularly, the report calculates that price by utilizing bottom-up manufacturing cost analysis and applying a gross margin of 15%.

This report benchmarks 3 established, mass-produced PV technologies as well as two promising technologies that are currently under growth or in pilot manufacturing. Crystalline silicon (c-Si) controls the present PV market, and its MSPs are the lowest--$0.25--$0.27/ watt across the c-Si technologies evaluated. Cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules have a slightly greater MSP ($0.28/ watt), and also the copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) MSP takes a still larger step up ($0.48/ watt), mainly as a result of greater labor, tools, and also center costs. The report provides technology road maps for extra MSP reductions. The costs of c-Si as well as CdTe modules remain comparable to each other over the short and also long term, whereas the CIGS premium shrinks, however the cost differential remains substantial.

Both creating technologies the report considers are III-V as well as perovskite PV technologies. At $77/watt, the III-V MSP benchmark is a lot more than the benchmarks for well-known technologies, which has maintained III-V PV technology in particular niche markets, such as room as well as terrestrial concentrator applications. This challenge is shown in the III-V road map, in which numerous possible cost decreases still cause a lasting projection of $20/watt-- two orders of magnitude greater than the long-lasting MSPs of the various other technologies. However, III-V modules can still deserve pursuing due to the fact that they are the highest-efficiency PV items on the market. The current highest possible research-cell performance is 47.1% for a multijunction III-V gadget, and also even greater efficiencies are feasible.

This report represents NREL's initial techno-economic evaluation of perovskite PV modules. The estimated MSP for a single-junction sheet-to-sheet perovskite module at a small manufacturing range is $0.38/ watt, with possible price reductions predicted to reduce the MSP over the long term to $0.18/ watt, assuming performance can be boosted without increasing costs. Perovskites can additionally be incorporated with various other PV technologies in multijunction setups. This report estimates an MSP of $0.31/ watt for perovskite-on-Si tandem modules in early manufacturing based on pilot manufacturing results.

Cost reductions from economies of range as manufacturing grows and the accumulation of making experience are also essential, however they are not included in NREL's cost-reduction road maps. Other essential module cost motorists not caught in this evaluation include international supply as well as need fluctuations, domestic plans related to PV implementation and also manufacturing, trade policies, as well as corporate methods. Comparing the bottom-up module MSP results with module market value, nevertheless, helps make clear the effects of these various other chauffeurs.

Download report:

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2021