Decision support system for ranking photovoltaic technologies

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    The primary photovoltaic (PV) system investment decision-making criteria are economics. These criteria are focused on system efficiency and cost, which is reasonable in the context of generous financial support schemes. However, when financial support is phased out, the PV market becomes technologically diversified. Environmental concerns and other qualitative issues become significant, whereas efficiency and costs may fail to describe PV systems properly. This study presents the first application of outranking techniques for PV technologies within an overall framework that includes qualitative, economic, technical and environmental criteria. The multi-criteria analysis method, ELECTRE III, identifies optimal investment decisions from a pre-determined set of investment alternatives. A case study based on a grid-connected household PV system in the United Kingdom illustrates the methodology. The results suggest emerging excitronic PV technologies such as organic PV to lead the ranking when compared with inorganic technologies. These results have to be taken in the context of a number of assumptions and estimates as well as free market, no financial support schemes and promising future technology developments. The overall decision-making framework provides comprehensive mathematical evaluations that assist PV owners, policy makers and the business community decide on technology, financial support schemes or business strategies. © The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2013.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)669-679
    Number of pages11
    JournalIET Renewable Power Generation
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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