Solar panels - is more always better?: Assessing the carbon footprint of communities
Keywords:self-sufficiency, energy communities, energy sufficiency, optimal sizing, greenhouse gas emissions
Are more solar panels always better in terms of carbon impact for a local energy community, and what is the influence of energy sufficiency? The answer is simple when the national electrical grid is taken as an infinite source of storage. However, this answer becomes uncertain if we consider that exporting power at the national scale is not a desired option. Although this is a conservative hypothesis, it is considered for technical and social reasons. In doing so, load profiles become a key to evaluating the carbon impact of hybrid systems with solar panels plus storage units. To summarize the impact of any load profiles on the optimal sizing of solar panels, we propose a novel index denoted ‘natural self-sufficiency’. Our results show that not only reducing energy demand but also being more flexible significantly affects the carbon emissions related to solar panels.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Jonathan Coignard, Sacha Hodencq, Nana Kofi Twum-Duah, Rémy Rigo-Mariani
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