Breakeven Cost for Residential Photovoltaics in the United States: Key Drivers and Sensitivities

Publication Type:
Special Report

Published / Updated:

Photovoltaic systems are expensive, but they offer one of the best solutions to generating energy-efficient, cost-saving power. So, how patient do you have to be to break even with your investment? This overview by the U.S. Department of Energy provides an analysis, concluding:

  • The main drivers of the breakeven cost of PV are non-technical, such as cost of electricity, rate structure and availability of initial financing
  • The breakeven cost in the U.S. varies by more than a factor of 10
  • Breakeven conditions are currently observed in the Southwest region
  • Breakeven conditions are also observed in the Northeast region, driven by high electricity prices
  • As PV prices continue to decline, breakeven conditions will begin to trickle into the Midwest and Southeast regions

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