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Photovoltaic acquisition costs

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Acquisition costs of photovoltaic systems

The profitability of photovoltaic systems is determined on the one hand by the investment costs, on the other hand by the savings from avoiding the purchase of the grid or income from the feed-in tariff.

The total acquisition costs of a photovoltaic system include the costs for solar modules, inverters, cabling, the assembly system, but also the assembly costs themselves, any additional planning costs, the costs for commissioning and the costs for the bidirectional meter.

Since it is possible to choose between installing a ripple control receiver and throttling the feed power to 70% in systems up to 30 kW, the costs for the ripple control receiver may be added. Finally, there is VAT, which can be repeated by the tax office. Here is an overview of the purchase costs in detail.

Solar modules

Solar modules have become cheaper and cheaper in recent years. The reason for the sharp fall in prices is, on the one hand, the high level of competition, i.e. the market situation with strong competitive pressure from low-cost Asian providers. On the other hand, the so-called positive economies of scale also lead to falling prices. In other words: the more photovoltaic modules are produced, the cheaper the production for each individual solar module becomes. The easiest way to compare the prices for solar modules is based on the costs in euros per watt peak. At the beginning of 2020, the average prices for this will be between 45 cents and 90 cents, depending on the quality of the selected module.

Tip: Price comparison for solar modules is always based on the maximum output, which is expressed in watts peak (Wp) or kilowatts peak (kWp). Price comparisons based on size in square meters are of no significance.

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Inverter


Modular inverter © SMA

The inverters account for approx. 15% of the investment costs for the solar power system. Depending on the size, orientation and shading situation, more than one inverter may be required, which increases costs. The prices for an inverter essentially depend on the size of the output. Per kW inverter output, you can expect about € 200 net, with smaller inverters costing up to 30% more, since the manufacturing costs for the housing and most of the electronic components are similar for small and large inverters. This means that a 5 kW inverter costs around € 1,000.

cabling

The cabling of the photovoltaic system can generate quite high losses. To prevent this, solar cables with a correspondingly large cross-section must be selected. The larger the cross-section, the more expensive the cabling, both on the DC and the AC side. Depending on the purchase quantity, cross-section and cable material, the price for one meter of solar cable is between 1 and 5 euros. Prices for the connection cables for inverters or charge controllers are also added (20 to 50 euros), as are the plugs.

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Photovoltaic mounting system

How is the photovoltaic system installed on the roof? Depending on the material and durability of the assembly system, there is also a very nice item on top of the acquisition costs. In addition to the size of the system, the costs depend on several factors, whether you opt for a normal or a crossbar system, how high the snow and wind load is, etc. The average costs for the mounting system are between 100 and 150 euros per kWp. However, there are also the installation costs for the substructure, which adds up to around 100 euros per kWp.

Here again the acquisition costs at a glance:

componentestimated costs
Solar modulesEUR 0.45 to EUR 0.90 per Wp
Inverterapprox. 230 euros / kW
Cable 100 meters100 to 500 euros
Mounting system100 to 150 euros per kWp
Assembly200 euros per kWp
Feed-in managementat least 150 euros

Based on a nationwide survey, the costs for an installed photovoltaic system up to 10 kWp are currently given as approx. 1,450 euros net per kilowatt peak.

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Tags:Acquisition costs, costs, photovoltaic economy