NREL Confirms Spike In Solar and Storage Costs In US

Dec 2, 2022 12:36 PM ET
  • In a year when rates have risen as a result of greater demand, disruptions in China, as well as broader inflation, the findings are no surprise

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the premier government entity entrusted with tracking and forecasting impact of innovation adjustments in the renewables space, has actually come out with its annual benchmarking report on rates. And also the findings are not a surprise, to those that have been in the market.

Utilizing 2021 prices, NREL approximates that utility-scale PV systems were 6% more pricey in Q1 2022 than the equivalent duration last year, rising to US$ 0.99/ Wdc, whilst utility-scale solar-plus-storage systems rose 11% YoY to US$ 195 million. NREL makes use of two benchmarks for abundant clarity.

The two sorts of benchmarks in the new report are the minimum sustainable rate (MSP) and the modeled market value (MMP). MSP is a theoretical national-average cash price under long-lasting market problems. In this report, MSP excludes short-term cost distortions affecting the marketplace in Q1 2022. On the other hand, the report's MMP is a price quote of the national-average cash sales price under market problems happening in Q1 2022, consistent with NREL's previous benchmarks.

" NREL's addition of the MSP benchmark in 2022 reflects our primary goal of making clear long-lasting PV modern technology as well as soft cost fads to inform research and development investments," said Vignesh Ramasamy, lead author of the report. "It is necessary to understand what enters into the cost classifications that amount to the last system costs for both benchmark types."

The analysis assumes a benchmark of 100 MW dc for utility-scale solar projects, making use of monofacial monocrystalline silicon modules with 20.3% effectiveness. The solar-plus-storage benchmark adds a 60MWdc/240MWh battery to the standard PV system.

By the MSP's metrics, a utility-scale PV setup was US$ 0.87/ Wdc, 14% lower than the MMP benchmark. The MSP for solar-plus-storage systems was 15% less than the MMP, at US$ 170 million.

On the other hand, property as well as commercial PV systems additionally saw price rises. Residential PV saw a 2% increase as well as commercial ground-mounted/rooftop saw 8% compared to Q1 2021 counterparts.

With key campaigns like the Inflation Reduction Act which produces more financial investment opportunities in solar and also their influence yet to play out on the market, rates are likely to remain raised or rise higher.

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