The actual value of solar electricity (photovoltaics) in urban settings: Real-time pricing, srecs, and tax credits

Lucas Witmer, Mesude Bayrakci, Babatunde D. Idrisu, Jeffrey R.S. Brownson, Seth Blumsack

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems range from large-scale utility systems to small distributed PV systems. Capital costs and operating revenues vary significantly from system to system. The payback period for any PV system is highly dependent on the location and the financial model. Electricity pricing structures used today do not typically use a real-time pricing structure. At best, a pricing structure sometimes includes seasonal variation that remains constant during the day. The real value of PV is demonstrated by using an hourly pricing tariff where the correlation between peak electricity prices and PV output is considered. Neglecting the variability in location by focusing on systems located in the Philadelphia region, this paper analyzes the economic payback model for PV systems based on different electricity pricing structures, solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) markets, and tax incentives offered by local, state, and federal governments. Scenarios have been developed that demonstrate the impact of a wholesale, real-time, market driven electricity price versus the average price of electricity. The real time locational pricing values solar electricity as much as 24% higher than the same photovoltaics with retail pricing because solar electricity is generated during the day when peak demand and peak prices occur. Additionally, some SREC markets have experienced volatility as a result of supply-demand disequilibrium. A sensitivity analysis of these variables portrays critical targets for aspects of widespread PV deployment that help to inform potential policy makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference
Pages3484-3490
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 31 2012
EventWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: May 13 2012May 17 2012

Publication series

NameWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conferen
Volume5

Other

OtherWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference
CountryUnited States
CityDenver, CO
Period5/13/125/17/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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    Witmer, L., Bayrakci, M., Idrisu, B. D., Brownson, J. R. S., & Blumsack, S. (2012). The actual value of solar electricity (photovoltaics) in urban settings: Real-time pricing, srecs, and tax credits. In World Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference (pp. 3484-3490). (World Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conferen; Vol. 5).