The solar photovoltaics industry has seen remarkable cost reductions over the past 35 years. PV module prices have declined so much that today non-module costs are the majority of total installed cost for utility-scale PV projects. These “balance of system” costs are primed for major reduction through smarter and smaller power electronics, streamlined installation technologies and processes, and project development approaches that leverage low-risk capital and better customer education.
Balance of system (BoS) cost savings, when combined with improvements in system efficiencies, improved inverters, and a future $0.50/W module cost, would bring installed PV system cost to a third of today’s cost. More on BoS cost savings can be found on RMI’s BoS website, which includes a report, a video and a webinar on the topic.
Bony, Lionel, Newman, Sam, and Doig, Stephen. 2010. Achieving Low-Cost Solar PV: Industry Workshop Recommendations for Near-Term Balance of System Cost Reductions. RMI. link