Solar surpassed wind for the first time last year in terms of new capacity additions worldwide.
Solar was up 42 percent over wind, according to the “Global Market Outlook 2017” released in late May by SolarPower Europe.
The top four countries for solar in 2016 were China, which accounted for almost half of new capacity additions, the United States at 19.32 percent, Japan at 11.23 percent and India at 5.87 percent. New solar installations in the United States were up 97 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.
GTM Research says that the average EPC pricing for utility-scale fixed-tilt solar facilities in the US was US$1.00 a watt at the start of the year and is projected to fall to 90¢ a watt by mid-year and to 80¢ by 2020. Tracker systems are expected to cost US$1.08 on average by mid-year.
The average residential solar system was sold for US$3 to US$3.50 a watt in the United States in 2016. This compares to an average of US$2 a watt in Europe.
Attila Toth, CEO of PowerScout, a platform for home improvements, argued in Greentech Media in April that the residential rooftop sector is due for a “radical makeover.” He says only 4 percent of the purchase price for the average automobile goes to cover sales and marketing, while 17 percent—some people say as high as 25 percent—of the price of a rooftop solar installation is the cost of customer acquisition. Solar panels account for 10 percent to 25 percent of the system cost.