Is a photovoltaic system worthwhile?

Increase in the energy bill

There has been a lot of talk in recent days aboutincreased energy due to the economic recovery after the health emergency, which according to almost all the media, will inevitably lead to an increase in additional spending 40%, on the electricity bill and an outlay of 500 € / year per family.

All the newspapers, television and radio broadcasters have taken up the minister’s statements Roberto Cingolani which also supported the rewriting of the method for calculating energy bills, with the revision of the items for the cost of raw materials (electricity or gas), the cost of transport and management of the meter, system charges and other items such as taxes which, as we will see later, greatly affect the annual cost of supply even with zero consumption.

Switch to the new Back Contact photovoltaic system?

Precisely on this last point concerning the items in the bill, we will pause to give reply to very many users, which by virtue of these increases, wonder if it is convenient go to the implant photovoltaic new generation like technology Back contact.

This new technology, Trienergy, which uses MWT-Metal Wrap Through, i.e. electrodes positioned at the rear of the PV module, is characterized by photovoltaic panels with modules equipped with electrical contacts exclusively on the back, which allow to exploit the entire exposed surface of the panel.

Even though the new MWT Back Contact technology is more efficient in terms of yield than the old panels, we will demonstrate that it’s still not cheap, for normal installations on homes or individual villas, switch to photovoltaics, even with the prospect of increases of 40% on the raw material for the supply of electricity.

What is the actual increase in the energy bill?

The average annual consumption of an Italian family is around 2.700 KW with an expense of about 550 € / year.

Fixed costs in the bill for a 3KW power meter, even with zero consumption, they are around 140 € / year, while the remainder relate to items on consumption, the amount of which is around € 410 / year.
Photovoltaic system with energy accumulator
The revealed increase of 40% on raw materials only, therefore with an average cost of 8.5 euro cents per kW, an average increase of 3.4 euro cents per kW would involve an additional expense of just over 90,00 € / year plus 10% VAT.
The variable part would amount to € 500. (€. 410 + € 90).

In fact, even with the 40% increase in the average cost of raw materials, the additional expense for each family would be around € 90 per year and not as some media claims have published in recent days with the doubling of the bill.

Of course thehypothesized increase by Minister Cingolani varies from 25% to 40% so the increase could be even lower with reduced percentages.

How much does the Back Contact photovoltaic system cost?

Well, now let’s check if the average cost for installing a photovoltaic system with Back Contact technology, it may also be convenient in relation to the increase in the bill by the Operator.

How much does the Back Contact photovoltaic system cost
It must be taken into account that for a 3 KW photovoltaic system a display area of 15/17 sqm for pitched roofs and of 19/21 m2 for flat roofs, with an average cost that could be around € 2,500 / KW.

If it were possible to use the entire average self-production of 4,000 KW / year, (which is almost impossible and we will see why below) the total cost of the plant would be around 7.500 € which would be amortized in 15 years (average plant cost € 7,500 / € 500 = 15 years).

Loss of efficiency and additional costs of Back Contact photovoltaics

Failing to use the entire self-production, for reasons of loss of efficiency of the panels over time and for the reduction of production in the winter months, the cost photovoltaic system it would rise also in consideration of the need to provide accumulators such as to make up for the lack of production for the above reasons.

The cost of the storage systems is on average equal to a cost of the same plant and therefore one immediately realizes that adding € 5,000-7,500 the payback time would double.
Photovoltaic system efficiency
Also there sale of surplus of energy produced by our plant, failure to use and feed into the grid or offset with that taken, would not help us much.

It exchange on the spot (GSE), this is the type of contract that the owner of a renewable energy plant can enter into with the GSE (Gestore Servizi Elettrici), it’s not in our favor, as, unfortunately, it is repaid to us at a lower value of about 2/3 of the cost of the energy that we take from the network and pay in the bill.

Finally, there is the plant maintenance photovoltaic, related panels and storage systems which over the years would be very expensive and therefore to the detriment of the ecological transition.

Tax deductions for the photovoltaic system

To our advantage the possibility of taking advantage of tax deductions 50% or 110% if associated with other renovation and insulation interventions.
Tax deductions for photovoltaic systems
But also in this case it is good to calculate the remaining cost of the plant and the duration of the recovery of the expenses deducted, (which is not always easy to predict), also according to the alternatives that in the long period of depreciation of the plant could be improved and / or replaced with more efficient systems and which would inevitably replace current technologies.

Is the ecological transition convenient?

In conclusion, if we do not proceed with the next ecological transition in greater investments aimed at seeking better efficiency of photovoltaic panels and systems and with incentives from amortize in a few years, we do not believe that the transition will be convenient.

The ecological transition is still a slow and expensive reality.
Behavioral and consumption models must be offered that direct the masses towards an eco-sustainable lifestyle.

Politics must promptly support this process with targeted interventions, aimed at quickly making visible the epochal change that awaits us both in practical and economic terms.

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