Page 24 of this document says it all:
US Installation costs $6.19 per Watt, of which $3.34 is profit / soft costs.
German Installation costs $3.00 per Watt, of which $0.62 is profit / soft costs.
Needless to say, the big price difference is a major factor in fewer people installing solar panels in the US than in Germany. On closer analysis, there are a number of factors leading to this huge gap – it isn't pure corporate greed:
1) Labor costs for electricians are higher in the US than in Germany.
2) Customer acquisition rates are higher in Germany than in the US – US companies are spending 10 times the amount that Germans spend.
3) US Permits, and other administrative burdens which are not present (or very minimally present) in Germany.
Points (2) and (3) are room for improvement – that is, if the US wants to see a rise in solar installations, the way that the industry has been booming in Germany. You can see the exact breakdown in the original document.
Is beauraucracy going too far to help technology effectively benefit people?
Read the full report: http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/LBNL_German_US_PV_Price_Comparisons_FINAL.pdf