Elsevier Energy, April 2014
One of the main reasons attributed to the slow uptake of grid-connected residential PV (photovoltaic) systems, is the lack of information about the near-term economic benefits which are as important as long-term viability for residential customers. This paper presents a comparative assessment of the near-term economic benefits of grid-connected residential PV systems. Case studies from the UK and India are taken as examples, as they vary significantly in solar resource, customer demands, electricity prices and financial support mechanisms. A metric termed PEUC (prosumer electricity unit cost) is proposed to develop an economic evaluation methodology to assess the near-term benefits from PV systems. The results obtained showed that, under the present financial support mechanisms, domestic PV systems provide near-term economic benefits in most locations in India. For most locations in the UK, cost reduction is needed to achieve near-term financial benefits and this varies depending on the location of installation. The results presented demonstrate the importance of location specific system planning and demand-generation matching through optimal sizing of the PV system and demand side management.