Solar surpassed wind for the first time last year in terms of new capacity additions worldwide.
Solar was up 42% 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%, Japan at 11.23% and India at 5.87%. New solar installations in the United States were up 97% in 2016 compared to 2015.
GTM Research says that the average EPC pricing for utility-scale fixed-tilt solar facilities in the US was $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 $1.08 on average by mid-year.
The average residential solar system was sold for $3 to $3.50 a watt in the United States in 2016. This compares to an average of $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% of the purchase price for the average automobile goes to cover sales and marketing, while 17% — some people say as high as 25% — of the price of a rooftop solar installation is the cost of customer acquisition. Solar panels account for 10% to 25% of the system cost.