Economic benefits of combining clean energy technologies : the case of solar photovoltaics and battery electric vehicles
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Engineering sciences. Technology
International journal of energy research. - London
, p. 1109-1119
The combined use of clean technologies can lead amongst other benefits to reduced environmental impacts, improved system efficiencies, better management of land scarcity, and diminishment of the effect of power variability of intermittent clean energy sources. Nonetheless, private investors facing budgetary constraints will only opt to invest in the combination of technologies if the latter is more profitable than the investment in a single technology. The aim of the paper is to provide a systematic model for decision makers that allows them to evaluate the profitability of any random combination of technologies under budgetary constraints, and to compare this profitability with that of the individual projects in isolation. This research goes beyond the state of art in the field of financial management and more specifically in the field of the rationing of capital amongst interdependent projects, by developing a method to calculate the payoff of interdependent projects undertaken together. Moreover, this paper develops a computational model from the investor's point of view, of which the purpose is threefold: First, the model allows to directly compare the economic payoff of individual complementary technologies with the economic payoff of their integrated combination, under budgetary constraints. Second, the model calculates economic synergies labeled benefits of combined technologies' (BOCT) when combining complementary technologies. Third, the model explains the rationalization behind the presence of BOCT. The model exemplifies an ex ante cost benefit analysis developed for business and non-governmental use. A four step methodology is proposed and illustrated by means of a case study of PV solar power and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for a small Belgian enterprise. Results show that at low electricity prices (<Euro0.112/kWh) it is most profitable to invest in BEVs. When the price of electricity rises (>Euro0.134/kWh), investment in exclusively PV becomes most attractive. In all other cases, it is more profitable to invest in the combination of both technologies. Copyright (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.