2.8 - Photovoltaic City: Effective Approaches to Integrated Urban Solar Power
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Photovoltaic (PV) energy systems are on their way to becoming the cheapest form of electricity production in most countries during the coming years. It has already reached a cost level that makes it competitive in several market segments in which the cost of generating electricity from PV has already reached parity with retail electricity prices (i.e., socket parity). At the same time, PV is particularly suited for the integration into existing and new infrastructure, for example, in buildings, canopies, sound barriers, and the like. For this reason, solar PV represents a key technology for prosumers at the building, district, and city level. In the 2016 draft of the recast of the RES and electricity EU directives, the concept of self-consumers is pushed as a driving force toward decarbonization of the electricity and heating sector at the city level associated with the creation of local energy communities and collective self-consumption as an emerging business model. To fully gauge the PV competitiveness, it is important to have a clear understanding of the self-consumption characteristics where a part of the PV electricity is locally consumed and reduces the electricity bill while the excess electricity is injected into the grid and valorized.