• Initiative -
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 1 June 2018
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Abstract

Solar photovoltaic systems installed on homes and commercial building rooftops are deemed central for a low-carbon future. As capital costs of photovoltaics continue to fall, its role towards making buildings more sustainable and environmentally-friendly will continue to grow. Capital costs of a photovoltaic system comprise the module and balance-of-system costs. The latter refers to everything-else needed to make the photovoltaic system functional including cables, mounts, labor, etc. While modules are priced internationally, the balance-of-system cost is country-specific. Price developments of modules, which have been thoroughly studied in literature, followed an 80% learning curve. Research on the balance-of-system learning curve however, has not been as extensive. In this paper, we estimate for the first time the learning curve of balance-of-system costs in photovoltaics for more than 20 countries via an extensive dataset. Our calculations yield a global learning curve for the balance-of-system of 89%, which corresponds to a progress ratio of 11% compared with 20% for modules. Understanding the rate at which capital costs of photovoltaics are falling with such detail will aid in more effective renewable energy policy planning and budgeting. Finally, some steps requiring no financial commitment but can bring down balance-of-system costs are discussed, which greatly contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future. © 2018 The Authors

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652618316652

Journal of Cleaner Production

Authors

Amro Elshurafa

Research Fellow Amro is a research Fellow with 20 years of experience in energy and technology garnered on three continents. His research… Amro is a research Fellow with 20 years of experience in energy and technology garnered on three continents. His research interests lie in renewable energy policy, power systems modeling, and hybrid microgrid design and optimization. He has led and executed several national modeling initiatives both at the distributed and utility scales. Some aspects of his research have been adopted by BP in creating their seminal annual statistical review. Amro is the author of 40+ papers and the inventor of several patents. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and an MBA in finance.

Expertise

  • Renewable Energy Policy
  • Power Sector Modeling
  • Hybrid Microgrid Design and Optimization
  • Storage and Solar PV Industry

Publications See all Amro Elshurafa’s publications

Shahad Albardi

Research Analyst Shahad Albardi is a research analyst at KAPSARC working in the field of energy policy with a focus on renewable… Shahad Albardi is a research analyst at KAPSARC working in the field of energy policy with a focus on renewable energy and its interaction with conventional fuels. She holds a BSc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Expertise

  • Renewable Energy and GCC Energy Systems

Publications See all Shahad Albardi’s publications

Simona Bigerna

Simona Bigerna

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Perugia

Carlo Andrea Bollino

Visiting Researcher Carlo Andrea Bollino is a Professor of Economics at the University of Perugia and Professor of Energy Economics at the… Carlo Andrea Bollino is a Professor of Economics at the University of Perugia and Professor of Energy Economics at the University LUISS, Rome. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was supervised by Nobel laureate Professor Lawrence Klein. He has been a Visiting Researcher at KAPSARC since 2015, focusing on econometric analysis, electricity market reform and climate change policy analysis. He is a Visiting Professor at Technische Universität, Berlin, Germany, the President (honorary) of the Italian Association for Energy Economics. He was the President of the IAEE in 2008, the President of GSE (Italian Renewable Energy Agency) and GRTN (Italian Electric Transmission network); Energy Advisor to the Minister of Industry and Ministry of Treasury of Italy; Chief Economist, ENI; Economist, Bank of Italy; and a Research Associate at Project Link for the United Nations. He has testified to the Italian Senate and Parliament briefings and has provided various governments with technical and policy reports on electricity market liberalization and renewable energy developments.

Expertise

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Investment
  • Energy and Environment
  • Macroeoconometric Modeling

Publications See all Carlo Andrea Bollino’s publications

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