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  • Prices in Germany are falling.

    The end of minimum pricing for imports from the People's Republic of China into the EU has created a landslide in prices for residential installations. Today a very reputable installer (in business for 11 years with over 35 MW installed) offered a roof owner (clay tiles roof) the following: 100x300Wp Canadian Solar and SMA STP 25000TL-20 inverter complete turnkey install for 799 Euro per kW. And I am very sure he does a fine job, pays his employees well and still makes a profit. Smaller installs 8 to 10 kWp run at around 1000 to 1100 Euro per kW. But prices vary a lot, most home owners who come to the large PVforum do so with local offers up to 1600 or more even 2000+, because battery storage is heavily marketed here (and financially not viable with our feed in tariffs, that get decreased regularly. the grandfather period is always 20 years).
    All prices are without VAT, because the PVer has to register a business with the taxman, and business investments are always without VAT.
    So even with the meager feed in money there are still deals that will profit the owner and a good installer is having a fair share still, too.
    I really hope your prices in the USA are similarly coming down, especially the installation costs.If costs for a 7 to 10 kWp install would come down to 1.50$ it would start a real boom in the sunnier parts of the US - especially if net metering or "near to net metering" are still the way of monetary compensation. (In Germany 1000kWh per kWp annually are seen as very good)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fitzefatz View Post
    The end of minimum pricing for imports from the People's Republic of China into the EU has created a landslide in prices for residential installations. Today a very reputable installer (in business for 11 years with over 35 MW installed) offered a roof owner (clay tiles roof) the following: 100x300Wp Canadian Solar and SMA STP 25000TL-20 inverter complete turnkey install for 799 Euro per kW. And I am very sure he does a fine job, pays his employees well and still makes a profit. Smaller installs 8 to 10 kWp run at around 1000 to 1100 Euro per kW. But prices vary a lot, most home owners who come to the large PVforum do so with local offers up to 1600 or more even 2000+, because battery storage is heavily marketed here (and financially not viable with our feed in tariffs, that get decreased regularly. the grandfather period is always 20 years).
    All prices are without VAT, because the PVer has to register a business with the taxman, and business investments are always without VAT.
    So even with the meager feed in money there are still deals that will profit the owner and a good installer is having a fair share still, too.
    I really hope your prices in the USA are similarly coming down, especially the installation costs.If costs for a 7 to 10 kWp install would come down to 1.50$ it would start a real boom in the sunnier parts of the US - especially if net metering or "near to net metering" are still the way of monetary compensation. (In Germany 1000kWh per kWp annually are seen as very good)
    Interesting information on the situation in Germany. Some questions to clear things up in my brain please.
    Are those kWp = STC kW as we know them in the U.S/north America ?
    Are those prices for smaller installs of, say 1,100 Euro/kW before/after any gov. or other incentives ? Or is ducking the VAT some winked at/accepted form of incentive ?
    Are those prices for turnkey systems, or panels prices only or something in between ?
    Where did the minimum pricing come from, how is it enforced/administered and why did it end ? Sounds like some form of tariff maybe ?

    Thank you.

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    • #3
      I see the price of hardware (panels, inverter, racking) coming down but with all the push to increase minimum wages and such I see the labor cost for anything going up. Unless someone has figured out a way to keep their business profitable yet reduce the installation price for pv systems I seriously doubt we will see anything < $2.50/watt before rebates.

      Comment


      • #4
        All power numbers are kWpeak STC. There are no government incentives at all. There is the Renewable Energy Act that mandates the utility companies to buy renewable energy from private companies (remember, everyone with a grid tied PV has to register a business) - at a stipulated feed in tariff price (that price is set /guaranteed for 20 years). That has to take precedent over any own generation of the utilities. The individual PV system has to reduce it's feed in to 70% STD capacity (it's rare to exceed that by more than a few percent. The owner has to use the surplus generation on the spot immediately, if he wants do do that)
        As having the PV system registered as a business there is no VAT ducking because it's a business transaction. If the owner wishes, he can declare it a "hobby install" and forfeits his business status - and he has to pay VAT. If the tax authority finds that the owner does not want to make any profit or is unlike to ever make a profit, it can rule it "hobby" as well ... resulting in the loss of the no VAT status.
        The minimum import prices came after the Chinese went into the market at full force and the German PV industry got lazy and saturated (Solarworld etc.lobbied for it). It was set in the whole EU (we have a common market). Was in 2013. Got renewed a few times and not renewed this August - was an anti dumping measure.
        Wages in Germany definitely now low. A solateur has to be (or have as an employee) a craftsmaster electrician and a craftsmaster roofer. it's 3-4 years vocational school to become journeman (with 2 foreign languages, maths physics ...) then another 3 years to become craftsmaster. Thats's why very few are masters in both crafts ... And the employer has to pay health insurance, unemployment insurance, the employees' income taxes, pension. Every employee is unionised (or gets the same wages as unionised workers). The worker get's around 15 to 20 Euro per hour after all that (you need at least 50-60 Euros per hour to fund that kind of wage). But good teams work ridiculously fast and efficient. I guess the 100 panels will be installed with 40 man hours or less - it's a larger install. and 40hx100=4000 Euro out of a 800x30kWp=24000 Euro are a decent pay. And I suppose the margin before wages/taxes are even higher that that 4000 Euros. The company would not have made the offer if it wasn't a good deal. google for >>PV Korten<< to see the outfit. Check >>Referenzen<< to see some of their installs.

        Those prices are turnkey.
        High offers abund, if the person is not educating himself, checks the forum (there they have a subforum for offer critique) he will get ripped apart by 1600 per kWH, expensive batteries etc. Or they say "PV isn't profitable". A quality install at a good price will have a payback time of approx 12 years for a 7-10kWp residential system . Our interest rates are extremely low - 20 year mortgages at 2.5%, so people have to happy about that

        PS I am not a solateur so I don't know how they exactly calculate their offers.
        PPS some equipment is really cheap now Hanwha Q.Cells Duo G5 325W 120.25 Euros (0.37 Euro per Watt) at an online dealer (so i guess a solateur who purchases by the container gets them even cheaper)
        Last edited by Fitzefatz; 11-03-2018, 01:51 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fitzefatz View Post
          All power numbers are kWpeak STC. There are no government incentives at all. There is the Renewable Energy Act that mandates the utility companies to buy renewable energy from private companies (remember, everyone with a grid tied PV has to register a business) - at a stipulated feed in tariff price (that price is set /guaranteed for 20 years). That has to take precedent over any own generation of the utilities. The individual PV system has to reduce it's feed in to 70% STD capacity (it's rare to exceed that by more than a few percent. The owner has to use the surplus generation on the spot immediately, if he wants do do that)
          As having the PV system registered as a business there is no VAT ducking because it's a business transaction. If the owner wishes, he can declare it a "hobby install" and forfeits his business status - and he has to pay VAT. If the tax authority finds that the owner does not want to make any profit or is unlike to ever make a profit, it can rule it "hobby" as well ... resulting in the loss of the no VAT status.
          The minimum import prices came after the Chinese went into the market at full force and the German PV industry got lazy and saturated (Solarworld etc.lobbied for it). It was set in the whole EU (we have a common market). Was in 2013. Got renewed a few times and not renewed this August - was an anti dumping measure.
          Wages in Germany definitely now low. A solateur has to be (or have as an employee) a craftsmaster electrician and a craftsmaster roofer. it's 3-4 years vocational school to become journeman (with 2 foreign languages, maths physics ...) then another 3 years to become craftsmaster. Thats's why very few are masters in both crafts ... And the employer has to pay health insurance, unemployment insurance, the employees' income taxes, pension. Every employee is unionised (or gets the same wages as unionised workers). The worker get's around 15 to 20 Euro per hour after all that (you need at least 50-60 Euros per hour to fund that kind of wage). But good teams work ridiculously fast and efficient. I guess the 100 panels will be installed with 40 man hours or less - it's a larger install. and 40hx100=4000 Euro out of a 800x30kWp=24000 Euro are a decent pay. And I suppose the margin before wages/taxes are even higher that that 4000 Euros. The company would not have made the offer if it wasn't a good deal. google for >>PV Korten<< to see the outfit. Check >>Referenzen<< to see some of their installs.

          Those prices are turnkey.
          High offers abund, if the person is not educating himself, checks the forum (there they have a subforum for offer critique) he will get ripped apart by 1600 per kWH, expensive batteries etc. Or they say "PV isn't profitable". A quality install at a good price will have a payback time of approx 12 years for a 7-10kWp residential system . Our interest rates are extremely low - 20 year mortgages at 2.5%, so people have to happy about that

          PS I am not a solateur so I don't know how they exactly calculate their offers.
          PPS some equipment is really cheap now Hanwha Q.Cells Duo G5 325W 120.25 Euros (0.37 Euro per Watt) at an online dealer (so i guess a solateur who purchases by the container gets them even cheaper)
          Thank you. All very interesting for many reasons and in many different areas.

          J.P.M.

          Comment


          • #6
            In few words , the anti damping EU law that was introduced in 2013 had come to a end in August 2018. That was to protect the EU market against cheap Chinese imports. Was intended to protect western manufacturers ie. Solar World. Here in UK the price has started to come down since summer and you can get panels at $0,4 per watt or better at a larger quantity.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Raul View Post
              In few words , the anti damping EU law that was introduced in 2013 had come to a end in August 2018. That was to protect the EU market against cheap Chinese imports. Was intended to protect western manufacturers ie. Solar World. Here in UK the price has started to come down since summer and you can get panels at $0,4 per watt or better at a larger quantity.
              As I said the price of the hardware has come down and may continue to come down, but the overall cost of an installed grid tie solar pv system may not go down due to the labor costs that seem to be going up. If there was more competition between installers that may bring the price down but I do not see that happening unless more people perform the install and increase the market.

              It is the basic chicken & the egg question. People won't install a pv system unless the price comes way down but the price won't come down unless more people install solar. Go figure.
              Last edited by SunEagle; 11-08-2018, 05:13 PM. Reason: spelling

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              • #8
                Over here the trend is that solar installers are roofers or electricians as well. The market has definetly came to a halt but bussines are still ticking over on shifting trade with demand. Labour prices are the same for the past 10 years at least. I think solar has reached the bottom price already once the government incentives have been withdrawn.

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                • #9
                  Here in OZ we are installing 6.6kW system for $6,500 but that has about $3.5K of STC's off the top so if the STC scheme were to finish tomorrow a 6.6kW (22 x 300 Canadian Ku cells panels and a Fronius Primo) would be $10K and the average payback time would go from 3.5years to about 6 years, so solar here is at a stage where it would make a lot of sence even without the STC scheme as we have high power prices about 40 cents per kW/hr, the solar industry here is now a major employer, we employ more people than the entire mining industry

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by solar pete View Post
                    Here in OZ we are installing 6.6kW system for $6,500 but that has about $3.5K of STC's off the top so if the STC scheme were to finish tomorrow a 6.6kW (22 x 300 Canadian Ku cells panels and a Fronius Primo) would be $10K and the average payback time would go from 3.5years to about 6 years, so solar here is at a stage where it would make a lot of sence even without the STC scheme as we have high power prices about 40 cents per kW/hr, the solar industry here is now a major employer, we employ more people than the entire mining industry
                    +1. Good to hear solar is increasing market share somewhere.

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