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Towards New Renewable Energy Policies in Urban Areas: The Re-definition of Optimum Inclination of Photovoltaic Panels

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 3, Issue 4, December 2015, pp 372-388
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.2015.03.0028
Manfred Weissenbacher
Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta


The optimum inclination and orientation of fixed Photovoltaic (PV) panels has long been defined in terms of maximizing the annual electricity yield per capacity installed according to the hemisphere and latitude where the PV system is located. Such optimum setup would thus also maximize the output per system cost, but it would not maximize the output per unit of available area, and it would not necessarily optimize the contribution of photovoltaic electricity vis-a-vis overall electricity demand patterns. This study seeks to draw the attention of policy-makers to the fact that incentivizing lower-than-optimum PV panel tilt angles can be an inexpensive strategy to substantially increase the renewable electricity yield in a given area. It also discusses how such strategy can be incorporated into an overall supply/demand grid management and renewable energy integration plan.

Keywords: Photovoltaic, Renewables, Energy policy, Inclination, Tilt, Cost of energy, Peak demand, Grid management, Energy planning, Residual load.

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