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Published on 15 December 2023

Objective: Study the economics of solar photovoltaic energy and its integration into the energy system.

LCOE (levelized cost of energy) is the metric most used to determine a power generation system's cost price. It is the generally-accepted method for determining the cost-competitiveness of a given technology. But adding new production resources to the energy mix is not without integration costs. And the integration costs of intermittent renewable energy resources like solar or wind—potentially high depending on the context and penetration rate—can be difficult to ascertain. These are what is known as system costs. They include a technical cost that impacts the other generation assets on the grid and the grid itself, and a financial cost, which varies depending on the regulatory and market environment. The system costs also include a societal cost or benefit that can be influenced by external factors. 

At I-Tésé, we have been studying the systemic impacts of high PV penetration for several years. Our past research has resulted in new methods for estimating future PV prices and the impacts of PV integration on different scenarios (PV plants vs. residential self-consumption with storage batteries, etc.). 

The French government's multi-year energy plan and low-carbon energy strategy are based on significant increases in PV by 2030 and 2050. Our 2022—2024 research agenda, which will benefit from a PhD research project (by Thibault Deletombe with Université Paris Dauphine-PSL that began in late 2021) as well as several internship positions, will address three main topics : 

  • The impacts of PV integration, with integration costs for different scenarios.
  • Hybrid modeling of the complete energy system in the context of PV development.
  • A multicriteria (macroeconomic and energy systems) analysis method for evaluating PV integration scenarios.

This research will provide the necessary PV-related inputs for I-Tésé's own energy system model.

 Contact : Julie Yu