An Analysis of Residential PV System Price Differences Between the United States and Germany

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Date Published



Residential photovoltaic (PV) systems are significantly more expensive in the United States than in Germany ($5.18/W vs. $2.59/W in 2012). These price discrepancies stem from differences in “soft costs” between the two countries. A survey of German PV installers was deployed to collect granular data on PV soft costs in Germany, and the results are compared to those of a similar survey of US PV installers. Non-module hardware costs and all analyzed soft costs are lower in Germany, especially for customer acquisition, installation labor and profit/overhead costs, but also for expenses related to permitting, interconnection and inspection procedures.

Conference Name

39th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference

Year of Publication


Conference Location

Tampa, Florida