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Economic analysis of photovoltaic projects: The Argentinian renewable generation policy for residential sectors

Coria, Gustavo, Penizzotto, Franco, Pringles, Rolando
Renewable energy 2019 v.133 pp. 1167-1177
capital, decision making, energy, energy costs, energy policy, profitability, renewable energy sources, solar collectors, solar radiation, tariffs, wages and remuneration
The Province of San Juan-Argentina has a considerable amount of solar radiation which encourages taking advantage of a photovoltaic system. In addition, a net billing remuneration mechanism for renewable and distributed energy generation has been established by recent Argentinian Law (Dec- 2017). This work presents a profitability analysis of solar photovoltaic projects connected to the grid in the residential sector, considering the Net Billing structure adopted by the Law, and also the Feed-in-Tariff structure that has been used in other countries in order to make comparisons. The valuations are performed for three different projects, taking into account the measured energy data for a year. The well-known Net Present Value method is used as the valuation index. Results show that renewable distributed generation is not profitable for the residential sector at this time, with the current technology costs, national financial conditions and tariffs, combined with some estimations regarding future electric tariffs. Considering this information, the manuscript details a sensitivity analysis of the capital cost, consumed and injected energy prices. Finally, some discussions on incentive mechanisms are introduced in order to aid national decision-makers in energy policies so as to ensure profitable projects.