Friday, December 16th, 2011
The need for highly specialized labor and custom installations drives up the installed cost of solar to about $7 per watt nationwide, or roughly $35,000 for a 5 kW installation, before government incentives.
Korman wants to bring the cost down to about $21,600 or between $4 – $4.50 per watt. To achieve this goal, GE would offer a standardized kit that includes modules that output low-voltage alternating current (AC) power instead of the high-voltage direct current (DC) power of most modules. Roofers and electricians can safely install these lower voltage systems on standardized mounts, eliminating the high cost of installation.
These in-panel or attached DC-to-AC inverters are relatively new to the market, and should have a huge impact on the cost and improve the reliability of these systems. Awesome!
Wonky political question – If the government susidized a $35,000 installation down to say $20,000, would manufacturers still have strong incentive to bring the cost down on their own?