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Environmental and economic analysis of building integrated photovoltaic systems in Italian regions

Cucchiella, Federica, D'Adamo, Idiano, Lenny Koh, S.C.
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.98 pp. 241-252
carbon dioxide, climate change, energy, environmental impact, environmental performance, greenhouse gas emissions, income, irradiation, issues and policy, profitability, solar collectors, solar energy, tariffs, Italy
Solar energy is a form of renewable energy that can be used to combat climate change through an environmentally accepted energy supply policy with support from both private and public consumers. There are numerous factors contributing to the definition of the economic and environmental performance of solar energy investments, such as average annual irradiation, consumers' consumption, Feed in Tariff incentive system, energy portfolio, emissions produced by the photovoltaic system, rated power of the individual modules, disposable income of the investor, availability of surface for the installation of the photovoltaic panels and mission, that characterise the project (environmental maximisation, economic maximisation or self-sufficiency of the system during the first year). Given the particular geographical position of Italy, the economic profitability and environmental impact of such system were estimated, first on the provincial scale and then on the regional scale, to delineate the general characteristics that are not caused by a single scenario. The indicators used include the following: net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), discounted payback period (DPbP), discounted aggregate cost-benefit ratio (BCr) and reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide (ERcd). The ultimate objective of the paper is to define the number of photovoltaic (PV) systems necessary to reach the target of renewable energy production in the above settings. A general scenario appropriate to achieve this goal, as well as implementing the total wealth generated by this framework and the reduction of CO2 emissions resulting from the implementation of that plan, will be examined. The indicators used are total net present value per capita and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions per capita.