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Cost competitiveness of a novel PVT-based solar combined heating and power system: Influence of economic parameters and financial incentives

Herrando, María, Ramos, Alba, Zabalza, Ignacio
Energy conversion and management 2018 v.166 pp. 758-770
discount rate, economic incentives, energy costs, heat, heating systems, inflation, latitude, light intensity, markets, prices, solar collectors, solar energy
The cost competitiveness of an optimised solar combined heating and power (S-CHP) system based on a novel PVT collector is assessed in three different locations (Zaragoza, London and Athens). A series of sensitivity analyses are undertaken to evaluate the extent of the influence of the several economic parameters on the cost competitiveness of the proposed solar solution, and evaluate the need for financial incentives to boost the installation of this technology, in particular in the residential sector. From the different systems components’ costs, the results show that the PVT collector price is the one that influences more the system economics, as it responsible of the highest share of the total investment (∼38%). High market discount rates and/or low inflation rates significantly and negatively affect the system cost competitiveness, leading to higher payback times (PBTs). Government incentives, if correctly applied, have the potential to improve the system economics in the short-term. However, in low latitude locations these incentives might not be necessary as high irradiance levels and energy prices lead to reasonable PBTs. Finally, the analysis of potential future scenarios, considering a combination of several economic parameters, demonstrates that the S–CHP system cost competitiveness is feasible in the short term.