21 Sep '12, 6pm

Why is rooftop solar cheaper in Germany than in the U.S.?

Why is rooftop solar cheaper in Germany than in the U.S.?

The installed cost for residential solar power systems in Germany — that is, installations of up to 10 kW — is considerably less than in the U.S. Why? That’s the subject of a fascinating analysis [PDF] from sharp minds at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The researchers conducted a survey of German solar installers and reviewed public and private consultant data to get a handle on the German market. The answers they found aren’t as obvious as you might think. For one thing, it isn’t mainly about the hardware, or the panels themselves. Those costs are comparable. The difference comes almost entirely in “soft costs” — customer acquisition, labor, interconnection to the grid, and the like. Long story short, when it comes to residential solar, in the U.S. it costs a little bit more to do … just about everything. Let’s look at some graphs! (All these graphs come from the ...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/why-is-rooftop-solar-chea...

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