A new report from Lawrence Berkeley Lab asks the question “Why Are Residential PV Prices in Germany So Much Lower Than in the U.S.?” The report supports the premise of the new ASES Solar Freedom Now! campaign, which aims to slash “soft costs” of solar installations in the United States.
The answers won’t surprise you. German installers reported average soft costs of $0.62 per watt in 2011, roughly $2.70 per lower than the average soft costs reported by U.S. installers. Customer acquisition costs averaged just $0.07 per watt in Germany, roughly $0.60 per lower than in the U.S.
Labor costs were about $.55 per watt lower in Germany for equivalent systems. Permitting, interconnection, and inspection (PII) processes required 10 hours of labor, on average, in Germany, with no permitting fee, resulting in PII costs roughly $0.20 per watt less than in the U.S. Read the full report: