Average weighted photovoltaic installation price decreased just 3 percent in the second quarter of 2011 to $5.20 per watt, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight report.
Residential system prices were virtually flat quarter over quarter, increasing slightly from $6.39 per watt in the first quarter to $6.42 per watt in the second quarter of 2011. Residential systems are typically slow to adjust downward to price declines due to a more extended and dispersed value chain, including distributors, integrators, electrical contractors, etc. Additionally, there is a higher proportion of non-component costs associated with residential systems, so the emphasis tends to be on reducing soft costs (i.e., permitting, interconnection, incentive applications, financing, and other fees) as opposed to module price drops.