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Energy and economic evaluation of building-integrated photovoltaics


  • Oliver, M.
  • Jackson, T.


This paper applies energy analysis and economic analysis in order to assess the application of solar photovoltaics (PVs) in buildings. Comparison is made both to electricity supply from centralised PV plants and to conventional electricity sources. The comparison with conventional sources reveals that there is currently a significant trade-off between the environmental and economic implications of PVs: there are substantial resource benefits to be gained from using PVs to supply electricity, but the economic cost of doing so is significantly higher than conventional sources. This trade-off is reduced when the benefits of building integrated PVs (BiPVs) are considered. By comparison with centralised PV plants, BiPV systems offer the “double dividend” of reduced economic costs and improved environmental performance. This double dividend is increased if the economic and energy costs of avoided cladding materials are taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver, M. & Jackson, T., 2001. "Energy and economic evaluation of building-integrated photovoltaics," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 431-439.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:26:y:2001:i:4:p:431-439
    DOI: 10.1016/S0360-5442(01)00009-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oliver, M. & Jackson, T., 1999. "The market for solar photovoltaics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 371-385, July.
    2. Roberts, F., 1980. "Energy accounting of alternative energy sources," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Gusdorf, John, 1992. "Energy paybacks and renewable breeders," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 17(12), pages 1137-1151.
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