An Analysis of Residential PV System Price Differences Between the United States and Germany

This report investigates and compares the pricing structures of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Germany and the United States. LBNL deployed surveys to PV installers in both countries to collect data on their average cost breakdowns. Results show that in 2012, residential PV was twice as expensive in the United States ($5.29/watt) as it was in Germany ($2.59/watt). The report states that it is primarily caused by differences in non-hardware or “soft” costs, and explains why this price variation occurs between countries. It concludes with recommendations for how the United States can implement policies and incentives to accelerate PV cost reductions to approach Germany’s figures.