This paper explores the economic aspects of distributed energy sources in a given neighborhood development. A novel methodology is proposed to achieve optimal synergy among renewable and alternative energy resources while accounting for economic and technical constraints. The methodology aims to achieve positive annual revenue to recover the capital cost investment in renewable energy, in minimum payback period. The methodology is demonstrated for a mixed-use neighborhood case study considering various scenarios of energy systems. The work proposes various tariff schemes combined with an optimal energy resource planning strategy to maximize the yearly revenue. Implementing the proposed methodology, a least payback period can be determined to address investment-related challenges faced by net-zero energy developments. The methodology allows to explore multiple near optimal combinations. Selection can be made employing suitable criteria based on specific conditions such as investment opportunities or expected minimum payback. For instance, in the demonstrated case study, a minimum payback period of 15.2 years can be achieved using non-electrical equipment (mixture of natural gas, waste-to-energy, thermal storage and grid) for space heating and domestic hot water. In this optimal case scenario, a logarithmic-based tariff scheme yields the best results.


Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Vol 137

Kuljeet Singh, Caroline Hachem-Vermette


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