Quantifying techno-economic potential for PV at the city scale

There is a huge potential for rooftop PV, but many do not understand what the costs and benefits are for their building(s). This project will help improve the analysis and information for PV by applying detailed techno-economic analysis at a city-wide scale.


Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are growing at a rapid pace worldwide. In Sweden, the market grows by 50% each year with most systems being installed on roofs. Building owners are increasingly interested in PV, but the unfamiliarity and expense lead to many difficult questions and uncertainty about the technology.

Perhaps the most salient concern prosumers have is around the economics. PV has high upfront costs with relatively long payback times. Techno-economic calculations are relatively simple to execute, but require a detailed understanding of a building’s geometry and customer load to be accurate. Solar maps make it easier to analyze buildings and have been around for several years, but their utility is usually relatively limited or basic compared to a typical consultant’s analysis.


The primary objective of this thesis is to quantify the techno-economic potential of PV in Stockholm considering alternative design goals for specific roofs/buildings. In context of the larger research project this thesis contributes to, the objective is to develop of a GIS-based tool for rapidly executing optimization algorithms within a searchable database. Ultimately this tool will be ported to a website, which is not part of this thesis but should be considered in the development process.


The raw data from the Stockholm region's solar map  will be used as the basis for the tool, which is used in ArcGIS. Additional layers will be added to the map for development of the techno-economic analysis. Validation of the tool should be made considering a selection of specific buildings with known geometry, a more detailed simulation/analysis, and (preferably) a PV system with historical generation data.

This thesis is an important part of the research project “Prosumer-centric communication for PV diffusion” within the Design for Everyday Energy Efficiency program  funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. The project leader/supervisor will have close contact and support towards the incorporation of this tool into the larger project, which will be used for real-world experiments starting in the autumn of 2020. 

Thesis/Learning objectives

After the thesis has been performed the student should be able to:

  • Identify and describe a gap in knowledge
  • Perform a comprehensive literature review
  • Develop models and tools towards a given objective
  • Design, populate, and utilize a database
  • Make informed conclusions supported by documented observations

Proposed work condition and time schedule

The thesis is expected to start under January 2020 (wk. 3) and be completed in June 2020 (wk. 23). Intermediate reports will be due in early March (wk. 10) and late April (wk. 17).

Supervisor at KTH, Department of Energy Technology

Nelson Sommerfeldt, Phd Candidate

How to apply

Please email Nelson with your CV, transcripts and a short motivation (in the email) on why you would like to do this project. Students will be selected in late November or early December.

Page responsible:Oxana Samoteeva
Belongs to: Department of Energy Technology
Last changed: Nov 30, 2019