Assessment of solar photovoltaic potential for installing rooftop solar PV systems

In order to assess the potential for installing rooftop solar PV systems in São Tomé, IRENA, with support from UNDP, has developed the SolarCity simulator for a selected area in the city. The SolarCity simulator is an online platform that allows its users (homeowner, investor, and authorities) to assess the technical and financial viability of installing solar PV on building by testing different system designs, policy instruments, and incentive schemes that could lead to potential economic savings and social-environmental benefits.

IRENA’s SolarCity simulator is a cost-effective approach that relies on site-specific solar resource data, 3D building footprints obtained from satellite images, a robust power generation model to calculate hourly and annual electricity production, and a simplified financial model to establish a range of economic indicators, such as payback (to equity), EIRR and total income for the development of specific rooftop solar PV project.

The session covered presentations on methodology for developing the simulator with a demonstration. There were presentations from UNDP and International Solar Alliance (ISA), and interventions from the country and African Development bank sharing their expert opinion and best practices.