Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Feed-in Tariff and Installed Costs in Germany

In a few weeks Germany is going to drop their Feed-in Tariff rate from 39.14 cents/kWh down to 32.88 cents/kWh. *CORRECTION (JULY 27TH) 34.05 CENTS/KWH. As a direct consequence of this rate reduction we should see a drop in the average price of PV systems from 2900 Euro/kWp down to around 2450 Euro/kWp during Q3 and Q4. *CORRECTION (JULY 27TH): AFTER REVIEWING IRR DATA IT LOOKS LIKE PRICES WILL STAY RELATIVELY STABLE IN Q3 & Q4. PERHAPS FALLING TO THE 2700 TO 2800 BUT EVEN THIS IS IFFY. On January 1st 2011 the Feed-in Tariff rate will drop from 32.88 cents down to around 28 cents/kWh. This should lead to the price of PV systems dropping from 2450 down to around 2200/kWp during 2011. **CORRECTION (JULY 27TH): I'M GUESSING FOR PRICES TO GO TO AROUND 2500 IN Q1/Q2 OF 2011 AND STAY RELATIVELY STABLE THROUGH THE YEAR. I'M DOUBLE DOG-DARE GUESSING FOR PRICES OF 2100 TO 2200 IN 2012.

I might be a tad off with my price projections but the overall point is that the FiT reduction will lead to a drop in system prices. If my math is right, Germany should hit grid parity at an installed cost (pre-tax) of around 2200 Euro/kWp. So, from my perspective it appears as though this price point will be hit sometime next year. *CORRECTION (JULY 27TH) SOMETIME IN 2012 SEEMS MORE LIKELY NOW. NOTE: GRID PARITY DOES NOT CREATE A SUSTAINABLE MARKET.

That's interesting in an of itself but in the back my mind I keep thinking that if Germany can reach 2200 Euro/kWp, a similar location with access to the same basic capital & labor ingredients should be able to match these installed costs - maybe not tomorrow or the next day but within the next 5 years. I think this is a reasonable assumption. But then I think - California gets 1200 to 1400 kWh per kWp compared to Germany where you get 800 to 900 kWh per kWp. Your LEC in California is going to be 30% lower!

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