A Cross-European Analysis of the Impact of Electricity Pricing on Battery Uptake in Residential Microgrids with Photovoltaic Units
As decentralized electricity generation is supporting grid development into the prosumer era, this paper investigates the economic viability of adding batteries to residential microgrids powered by photovoltaic units, under various electricity pricing schemes. Batteries bring the benefits of grid-stabilization and congestion relief, and they are also becoming cheaper. The problem identified is that the main grid effectively acts as a lossless storage system, especially under the net-metering scheme, whereas using a battery involves investment costs and energy losses. This mismatch is addressed by analysing residential microgrid projects under seven tariff designs, each in seven countries of the European Union, and compare the economic viability of photovoltaic systems with and without batteries. The findings show that the conditions most favourable to batteries are given by a capacity tariff scheme allowing price arbitrage. Based on these findings, the paper discusses possibilities for further support in order to bring the economic viability of microgrids with batteries on par with that of microgrids without batteries.