Multivariate analysis of solar city economics: impact of energy prices, policy, finance, and cost on urban photovoltaic power plant implementation

John Byrne, Job Taminiau, Kyung Nam Kim, Joohee Lee, Jeongseok Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research suggests that the potential for city-scale photovoltaic (PV) applications is substantial across the globe. Successful implementation of ‘solar city’ options will depend on the strategic application of finance mechanisms, solar energy soft cost policies, and other policy tools, as well as the grid price of electricity. Capital markets recently have embraced the roll-out of new financial instruments, including ‘green bonds,’ which could be incorporated into solar city project design to attract large investments at a low cost. A multivariate analysis method is employed to consider solar city possibilities for six cities: Amsterdam, London, Munich, New York, Seoul, and Tokyo. A Monte Carlo simulation is conducted to capture the probabilistic nature of uncertainties in the parameters and their relative importance to the financial viability of a solar city project. The analysis finds that solar city implementation strategies can be practical under a broad range of circumstances. WIREs Energy Environ 2017, 6:e241. doi: 10.1002/wene.241. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere241
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning) (2015, University-Institute Cooperation Program). This material is based upon work primarily supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) under NSF CA No. EEC 1041895. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of NSF or DOE. [Correction added on 16 May 2017, after first online publication: additional funding information has been inserted in the Acknowledgements section.]

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science


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