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Plunging Costs Will Drive $35.5 Billion U.S. Solar Through 2020

March 01, 2017

From SNL:

U.S. solar developers have proposed to invest $35.5 billion in new solar power plants over the next four years according to an SNL Energy analysis of projects already in the planning stages.

There are currently 14 GW of photovoltaic solar projects scheduled to come online between 2017 and 2020 and an analysis of reported and estimated costs shows that would result in $35.5 billion in investment if all the projects are built. Over the past four years, about 17 GW of photovoltaic solar projects were built, requiring an investment of $50 billion, but falling solar project costs are cutting into the overall capital expenditures to bring a new project on.

According to SNL Energy’s analysis of reported and estimated costs, already planned solar projects will cost an average of $2.5 million/MW between 2017 and 2020, down more than 14% from $2.9 million/MW for projects constructed over the previous four years. The falling cost of solar projects mean that the solar sector will have to install at least 20 GW over the period to keep overall investments flat.

As the demand for solar photovoltaic capacity has increased, figures show the cost per megawatt for solar photovoltaic capacity declining across every ISO region of the U.S.

($) (with charts and maps) $36B in US solar PV investments planned for next 4 years

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