Balance of Systems components costs in USA still higher than Germany
At a recent PV Insider webinar on reducing costs in the balance of systems in the USA it was revealed that the world’s second largest utility-scale PV market continues to suffer from higher prices for key components compared to Germany, in spite of much larger growth in utility-scale PV. These higher prices are seriously hampering PV’s competitiveness against other fuels and may be a major stumbling block to making PV more competitive.
According to data collected by Paula Mints at SPV Market Research, the costs for wiring and hardware are almost double those of Germany with an average of $0.47 (in the USA) and 0.43 ( in Germany) cost for inverters in a plant whose profit falls within a higher band. During the webinar, Mark Kanjorski, Chairman of the HDPV Alliance highlighted how companies can improve their plant performance through inverters and modular level technology.
Interestingly, a move towards modular level technologies can also present opportunities for reductions in the cost of wiring through increased string size. With wiring and hardware continuing to be double the cost as Germany, this is one key way in which savings can be made. With the utility and large-scale distributed markets in the USA becoming increasingly competitive for developers as well as component suppliers, the HDPV standards may elevate some suppliers and developers over others, through cost reductions and also better performance expectations.
The recordings and presentations from the webinar are now available here: