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Project data
Authors Abhilash Kantamneni
Richelle Winkler
Lucia Gauchia
Joshua M. Pearce
Download Open Know How Manifest
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Part of MOST completed projects and publications
Type Project
Keywords Energy policy, Electric utility, Photovoltaic, Distributed generation, off-grid, Solar energy, Cogeneration, Electricity, Energy production, Heating and cooling, Heating, Cooling
SDG Sustainable Development Goals SDG07 Affordable and clean energy
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
Published 2016
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Impact Number of views to this page. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 648

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Energy Conservation Energy Policy Industrial SymbiosisLife Cycle Analysis Materials Science Open SourceMedical Photovoltaic Systems Solar CellsSustainable Development Sustainability Education

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High demand for photovoltaic (PV), battery, and small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) technologies are driving a virtuous cycle of technological improvements and cost reductions in off-grid electric systems that increasingly compete with the grid market. Using a case study in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, this paper quantifies the economic viability of off-grid PV+battery+CHP adoption and evaluates potential implications for grid-based utility models. The analysis shows that already some households could save money by switching to a solar hybrid off-grid system in comparison to the effective electric rates they are currently paying. Across the region by 2020, 92% of seasonal households and ~75% of year-round households are projected to meet electricity demands with lower costs. Furthermore, ~65% of all Upper Peninsula single-family owner-occupied households will both meet grid parity and be able to afford the systems by 2020. The results imply that economic circumstances could spur a positive feedback loop whereby grid electricity prices continue to rise and increasing numbers of customers choose alternatives (sometimes referred to as a "utility death spiral"), particularly in areas with relatively high electric utility rates. Utility companies and policy makers must take the potential for grid defection seriously when evaluating energy supply strategies.

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