Journal article

Who pays, who benefits? The financial impacts of solar photovoltaic systems and air-conditioners on Australian households

1 Dec 2017
Description

Increasingly, there are calls for the owners of photovoltaic (PV) systems to pay additional charges on the basis that they are not contributing their fair share to network revenue. Air conditioners (A/Cs) are even more widespread than distributed PV systems, and their use has increased demand peaks and the size of networks required to meet them, the cost of which is typically recovered from all customers. There appears to be limited analysis in the literature regarding the impacts of A/C and PV on the electricity bills of customers who do not have these technologies. While the impacts of renewable energy on centralised electricity generation have been explored in the literature, this paper proposes a methodology to estimate the financial impacts of PV and A/C that flow through network operators to other customers. The analysis indicates that, in the datasets used, A/C systems have most likely resulted in significant bill increases for customers who don’t have them. In contrast, PV systems have most likely had a minimal financial impact on customers who do not have them. While these analyses were undertaken using Australian data, the method is applicable to most countries with modifications to suit the local regulatory environment.

Highlights

• Assessed the financial impacts of A/C and PV on customers who do not have them.

• Air conditioners most likely significantly increase costs for other customers.

• Photovoltaics most likely have a neutral cost impact on other customers.

• Impacts dependent on the tariff structures and the regulatory environment.

• Method can be applied to other technologies and suitable for other jurisdictions.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
DOI: 
10.1016/j.erss.2017.11.018
Volume: 
39
Pagination: 
198-215
Publication Place: 
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Access Rights Type: 
Open
Language: 
English
License Type: 
All Rights Reserved
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes
Edition: 
May 2018
Published year only: 
2017
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