Empirical review Several studies on rooftop solar have

Empirical
review

Several studies on rooftop solar have so far been
conducted and concluded. These findings are based on actual observations and
measured phenomena unlike theoretical review that is based on theories and
beliefs. Previous research on rooftop solar in urban centres have focused more
on quantifying the potential of various cities as initiatives to establish
whether the projects is economic viable and can be used to offset reliance on
fossil based fuels in electricity generation. Indian government has taken a
step forward by setting a target of 40GW of rooftop solar PV deployment across
her cities and upcoming urban centres by 2022. The target is termed over
ambitious by many though the Indian government is putting up measures to
address the challenges outlined and faced so far by the ongoing deployment
across the country.

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Estimation
of rooftop solar PV potential in urban centres

In 2009, the Energy and Resource Institute, TERI, New
Delhi came up with a master plan in an attempt to make Chandigarh a solar city
that was among the earliest efforts by the Indian government to deploy rooftop
solar PV (TERI, 2009). MNRE in 2014 launched sixty solar cities across India whose
objective was to meet at least 10% of the expected energy requirements targeting
roof mounted solar in urban centres. This was aimed at addressing increasing
demand of energy across the country characterized by high population rate
leading to rapid urbanization (MNRE, 2015).

 

Bridge to India released a report in 2013 of
estimating the rooftop solar potential of Delhi using Google Map Earth for
estimating and Wikimapia for classifying the building into three main
categories namely residential, commercial and industrial across the city of
Delhi. It was concluded that 2GW of electricity can be generated using rooftop
solar. This can be a great achievement with a city total peak demand of 6GW (Bridge to India, 2014). Later in 2015, a city of Patna
was estimated to have a rooftop solar potential of 759MW whereas anticipated
peak demand was found to be 600MW from the study carried by Bridge to India. The
potential exceeded the peak demand suggesting excess electricity generated can
be exported to nearby cities through national grid (Bridge to India, 2015)

 

Potential estimates of roof mounted solar in urban
centres have so far provided promising results and opportunities of utilizing
roof for power generation globally. The great city of Mumbai in India has an
average total demand of 3GW according to a study carried. Rooftop solar
potential of approximate 1.72GW was estimated by applying satellite based
assessments using google maps and google earth incorporated with site visits to
ascertain electricity use across all the sectors of the city. 3D models were
used to extrapolate the suitable area for rooftop solar use. It was concluded
that more than 1.72GW of electricity can be generated by using rooftop solar
across the city (MNRE, 2016). A need for further study on the points of sinks
to determine the nature of off-peak and peak demands can be useful if roof
mounted solar is to be effectively utilised. This requires corporation and
support among all the stakeholders including utility companies.

 

J.M Pearce et al, 2010 argued that resources to
deploy solar PV in urban centres are not the main limiting factors. A five-step
procedure was used to quantify rooftop solar potential to be used for the
region of Ontario using GIS and advanced feature extraction algorithms to
estimate Ontario rooftop solar PV potential. FIT policy was found to have the
potential to facilitate an initiation to significant rooftop solar deployment
in urban centres. A more in-depth analysis of roof area population data points from
the municipal was recommended that can be used for the purpose of estimates as
the municipal lack data of the buildings and land use (J.M. Pearce et al, 2010).
A research gap exists there for identifying more challenges faced by rooftop
solar deployment in such areas that can aid all stakeholders in planning for such.

 

John Byrne et al, 2014 conducted a study to estimate
rooftop solar electric potential of the city of Seoul, South Korea by applying
arc-GIS for estimation using cartographic information of 2002 and AutoCAD 2013
for extraction of suitable roof area for solar use. It was concluded that a
total of 11.255GW can be generated by using rooftop solar in the city
representing 30% city total electricity use. They argued that assessment of cities’
rooftop solar PV potential is vital since it is the only resource that each country
possesses (Byrne et al, 2015).  Rooftop solar
PV potential of Gangnam district of Seoul was estimated by using a three-step
process involving data collection and conversion, building shadow analysis by
application of Hillshade analysis and estimation of available rooftop area. It was
concluded that 4903079m2 on average can be used for electricity
generation through solar representing 65.22% of the total roof area in that
district. The method was argued to be simple to use and accurate and least
expensive compared to others despite some challenges encountered in the process
(Taehoon Hong et al, 2016).

 

A detailed assessment of technical rooftop solar PV potential
was conducted using DHS Lidar data set that covered 23% of building stock and
40% of USA nationwide population. For regions without Lidar data, leveraged DHS
Lidar data was used to build models for estimating the total amount of suitable
roof area for solar utilization. The estimated technical potential was found to
be 1118GW of installed capacity and 1432TWh of total annual electricity sales (Ryan
et al, 2016). It was concluded that the estimates were greater than previous
studies by NREL estimates of 800TWh of annual nationwide generation and 664GW
of installed capacity (Lopez at al, 2012). M. Luqman et al, 2015 carried a
study by estimating the rooftop solar energy potential of Punjab government servants
housing society using arc-GIS model and concluded that a potential of 399613072KWh
was achievable that accounted for 11% of total energy consumption of the entire
community. That represented high potential despite the fact that the study did not
utilize all the available roof area in the entire institutions. A high
generation is achievable if all the roof areas are considered (M. Luqman et al,
2015).

 

The CBD of the city of Johannesburg was estimated to
have a rooftop solar PV potential of approximately 22.6MW of electricity
capacity representing less than 1% of city’s current electricity consumption. The
study was carried using GIS and Google earth pro for estimations with the help
of PV watts calculator. The low potential capacity was attributed to the nature
of buildings and congestions thus shading taking the larger party of the roof
area. The research concluded rooftop solar PV deployment with the CBD of city
of Johannesburg is not economic feasible (Ntosoane, 2017).

 

Private sector and donor funded projects in Kenya are
the leading in solar PV deployment. The rapid use of solar PV is promoted by
the government initiative of tax exemptions of all solar PV related products
including panels and inverters. Rooftop solar has not been well utilized across
the country despite the fact that solar PV use requires large pieces of land thus
competing with other land use. Learning institutions and commercial buildings
are now turning to use of rooftop solar as they try to offset high electricity
bills from fossil based fuels (MoE&P, 2015). No study has been done assess
the rooftop solar potential of Nairobi city despite having the best average solar
irradiance of 4.5KWh/m2 throughout the year. Nairobi remains to be
the hub of all economic activities of Kenya and her neighbour nations. There is
need to look for ways to deploy use of solar using roof area to offset over
reliance on thermal generation and hydro power that is severely affected by
drought experienced within the country (citation).

 

Challenges
and barriers to renewables including rooftop solar

Many studies and
analyses have been conducted to assess the challenges and barriers to scaling
up renewable energies worldwide. A survey was conducted to assess the barriers
to rooftop solar PV in Puducherry smart grid pilot project in India. It was
concluded that consumer awareness of rooftop solar PV was the major challenge
compared to initial costs and consumer payback period. A suggestion to deploy
rooftop solar in public places such as schools, hospitals and hotels as means
of creating awareness to the members of the public was recommended. Consumers those
had prior knowledge preferred to use net and gross metering to deploy roof
mounted solar (Ramakrishna Kappagantu et al, 2015). 

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