Photovoltaics and electric cars, a marriage that has to be done

Photovoltaics and electric cars, a marriage that has to be done

Photovoltaics and electric cars

A practical guide to the advantages (and costs) of a solar-powered home system

(Photo: Corbis Images) The development of electric mobility can be favored by the creation of real home ecosystems dedicated to new technology , in parallel with the growth of the public charging network. In fact, the installation of photovoltaic panels on the housing unit, in association with an accumulator capable of storing the energy produced and the charging columns (or wall boxes), not only allows the widespread promotion of the use of renewable sources, but also to increase energy independence on the part of end users. This is therefore a great opportunity, especially if we consider that "trips no longer than 50 km concentrate 70% of the distances traveled" in Italy (source Isfort), compatible with the range of electric vehicles.

To understand how to move, it is advisable to analyze the scenario of the sector and the regulatory context. According to the GSE Solar Photovoltaic 2020 report, the average size of an Italian residential system is 4.6 kW with a self-consumption value compared to the total energy production of 35%. The same company, in the document Guide to photovoltaic self-consumption, identifies an investment between 3,000 euros and 8,000 euros to build a plant commensurate with their family needs. Another plus given by the adoption of solar panels is the Exchange on the Spot (SSP) service, with which the GSE returns the value of the electricity on the market (PUN) and an additional contribution for each kWh exchanged with the grid when the plant produces excess energy.

Assuming a requirement of 4000 kWh per year (rate 0.25 € / kWh) without a photovoltaic system, there would be an expense, taking from the electricity grid, of 1000 euros. By installing a 3 kW infrastructure, it is possible to produce the 4000 kWh needed, with 1600 kWh used in self-consumption, equal to 40%, while the remaining part of 2400 kWh is fed into the grid (consequently, for 2400 kWh you "take" the energy from the same network). At this point, thanks to the contribution of SSP (equal to approximately € 0.15 / kWh, although it can vary on the basis of various parameters), 360 euros are received for the 2400 kW not used and returned to the line, which compensate the disbursement for the 2400 kW of 600 euros. This translates into a bill of 240 euros, with a saving of 76% compared to the absence of the system. From here it is also understood how it is possible to have a payback time of a few years. And, for electric cars, the benefit corresponds to a recharge with a cost of about 7-10 euro cents per kWh, approximately equal to the LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity) value of the Italian domestic photovoltaic system.

Un another option to consider is the union of the solar panels with an accumulator. In this case, up to 90% self-consumption of energy can be achieved. The batteries currently on the market are available according to different chemical compositions (lead-gel, lithium ions, nickel-cadmium), capacity (from 2 kWh to 12 kWh) and average life (from about 5 to 10 years). The investment substantially doubles compared to the simple purchase of the photovoltaic system, but the savings on the bill are also significantly increased. To get an idea of ​​the costs, Enel X offers a 4 kW photovoltaic system and a 4.8 kWh storage system at a price of 5,345 euros (in the case of a 50% credit transfer, otherwise 10,690 euros) which includes an inspection, design and installation. In the event of greater energy needs, the same company instead proposes a 6 kW photovoltaic system and a storage system from 9.6 kWh to 20,500 euros.

To complete the picture, we must then talk about the charging infrastructures for the vehicles. They can be the traditional "columns" and wall boxes, or wall "boxes". However, with the 3.3 kW meter, refueling times are very long (10-12 hours for a car with a 40 kWh battery, like the small VW e-up!). In addition, there is a risk of malfunctions, especially in the case of recharging at the same time as the use of household appliances. To increase the speed and safety of the process, it is therefore advisable to increase the power of the meter up to 7 kW, by installing an industrial-type socket or the adequately sized wall box (with power greater than 3.7 kW, which would also benefit from tax incentives. which is discussed later). With another great advantage: the “intelligent” programming of recharging, even remotely. The prices of these components range from a few hundred euros up to a few thousand euros. And they can be found in more structured packages. For example, the Norwegian company Otovo offers the combination of 4.2 kW system, 5 kWh battery, 7.4 kW wall box and charging cable for 16,300 euros (8,150 euros with a 50% discount on the invoice). br>
Finally, from a fiscal point of view, it is worth remembering that photovoltaic systems and storage systems can take advantage of the 110% Superbonus, but only if their installation takes place in conjunction with one of the leading energy efficiency measures or seismic improvement. As reported by the ENEA guide, "The total amount of deductible expenses is € 48,000, with a maximum ceiling of € 2,400 per kW of nominal power of the solar photovoltaic system". Also for accumulators, the maximum total expenditure allowed is 48,000 euros, with a unit limit of 1000 € / kWh. On the front of the columns, however, the cost for the installation of vehicle charging systems must be "within the limit of 2000 euros per column in a single building", 1500 euros for a maximum of 8 columns and 1200 euros over 8 columns. Again, provided that the intervention is associated with at least one driving energy efficiency intervention. It takes 5 years to return from the investment, but you can also opt for the discount on the invoice or the transfer of the tax credit (to banks, financial intermediaries, suppliers or other private subjects).

If not if you are interested in "substantial" operations for your home, an alternative is the Home Bonus. Here the expected deduction is 50 percent, up to the maximum spending limit of 96,000 euros, applicable for the installation of the photovoltaic system as well as the accumulator. On the other hand, for the charging stations, as indicated in the 2019 Budget Law, the maximum expenditure ceiling for obtaining the deduction is 3,000 euros, relating to the purchase, installation of a domestic charging station or to the increase in the power of the meter. at home (up to 7 kW). Charging devices up to 3.7 kW are excluded from the deduction, while those with higher power, up to 22 kW, are included. For all three components (photovoltaic system, accumulator, charging column) the tax deduction is recoverable in ten years. You can also have a 50% discount on the invoice from the supplier on the price of the system. Alternatively, the credit can be assigned directly to a bank or other intermediary. However, it is advisable to carefully check the legislation to find out about updates on incentives (including deadlines).

Energy self-consumption therefore represents an important opportunity for economic savings for electric motorists, but also a tool for hiring the role of "prosumer", thus becoming active subjects in the promotion (and use) of renewable sources.

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