A computational tool for evaluating the economics of solar and wind microgeneration of electricity
Kelleher, J. and Ringwood, J.V. (2009) A computational tool for evaluating the economics of solar and wind microgeneration of electricity. Energy, 34 (4). pp. 401-409. ISSN 0360-5442
This paper presents a method, implemented as a freely available computer programme, which is used to estimate the economics of renewable microgeneration of electricity from wind and solar energy sources. A variety of commercial small wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) panels are considered and combined with raw energy data gathered from a variety of locations. Both residential and holiday home user profiles are available and options are selectable concerning feed-in tariffs (if available), government incentive schemes and the cost of capital borrowing. The configuration of the generation setup, which can consist of wind, PV and combination of wind/PV, is fully selectable by the user, with a range of appropriate default data provided. A numerical example, based on Irish data, is presented, which suggests that payback periods for solar and wind microgeneration systems can vary greatly (2.5–500 years), depending on the location, installation and economic variables.
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