2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference


Title
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC ELECTRICITY FOR SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED HOUSEHOLDS: LIFE CYCLE THINKING-BASED ASSESSMENT


Author(s)
Mr. Piyaruwan Kaluthantirige, University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus) (Presenter)
Ms. Anber Rana
Dr. Kasun Hewage, University of British Columbia, Canada
Dr. Shahria Alam, University of British Columbia
Dr. Rehan Sadiq, University of British Columbia, Canada
Abstract

Electricity generation using solar photovoltaic (PV) can be considered as one of the key low-emission energy technologies that reduce building net operational level emissions compared to the fossil fuels-based energies. Small-scale grid-tie solar (PV) systems are being widely used in many parts of the world. These systems would be benefitted to the investors by reducing household level operational GHG emissions and securing low energy prices for long-term. Solar (PV)–based electricity generation in Canada can be improved immensely to achieve local emission targets while securing healthier energy rates for the consumers. However, there is a lack of knowledge on life cycle impacts of solar (PV)-based electricity generation in single-family detached households in Canadian regions with low-emission grid electricity. The objective of this study is to conduct an investigation to obtain the feasibility of small-scale solar (PV) systems for households in South British Columbia mountain climate region, Canada using life cycle thinking approach. The effect of domestic activities and transportation was used to identify the net energy use of the household throughout its entire life. The life cycle impact assessment and the life cycle cost assessment results were used to compare the impacts of different household alternatives. The results of this study showed that households with solar (PV) systems and electric transportation facilities indicated comparatively lower environmental impacts and higher long-term financial benefits. However, the upfront costs of households with solar systems are relatively high which may have adverse effects on the purchasing decisions. The short-term use of solar (PV) systems may result in higher cost and environmental impacts.