Monetary Value on Power Outage Losses Can Increase Number of Solar and Storage Projects

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Clean Energy Group (CEG), a nonprofit organization, that advances clean energy, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found out, that an increase of solar and storage projects could support the economy when considering the value of avoiding outages.

In evaluating different building types as well as focusing on PV and storage, losses during power outages can be prevented. In return this can result in the possibility of realizing larger solar and storage systems, where technologies would normally not be economically feasible.

Since there is no clear market for energy resilience, it is extremely difficult for most organizations to place monetizable value on resilience-related investments. Especially the economic value of facilities providing community services (e.g. hospitals), on which the inhabitants rely on in an emergency situation often cannot be evaluated by investors. The research is based on customer service data from a previous study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Placing a value on resilience showed the researchers the impact on solar and storage technology adoption decisions. These systems were found to be economical when the value of resilience is accounted for:

“As the findings in this paper suggest, avoiding outages with resilient solar+storage can deliver significant value to many types of customers. By placing a value on resilience now, more solar+storage could be deployed before the next big storm hits. This is important for businesses, but even more essential to the safety of our most vulnerable populations, like the sick and the elderly, where access to power could literally mean the difference between life and death,” said Seth Mullendore, coauthor of the paper and vice president and project director at CEG.

Source: Clean Energy Group

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