Economic and environmental performances of organic photovoltaics with battery storage for residential self-consumption

Marios D. Chatzisideris, Pernille K. Ohms, Nieves Espinosa, Frederik C. Krebs, Alexis Laurent

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Recent economic developments have signalled that self-consumption of photovoltaics (PV)-generated electricity could be financially more attractive than exporting it to the grid in many countries. As an emerging PV technology, organic photovoltaics (OPV) have been recognized as potential bearer of economic and environmental gains. Yet, could OPV deliver a profitable investment and environmental impact reductions in the context of residential electricity self-consumption? Here, we conduct a study of unprecedented scoping that combines both economic analysis and life cycle assessment to gauge OPV self-consumption with or without battery storage for household settings. The upscaling of OPV technologies from pilot- to industrial scale was modelled, and we used the two contrasting cases of Denmark and Greece to identify potential patterns. Our economic results indicate that the addition of battery storage is not financially viable unless battery costs are reduced by more than 10% for Greece and 30% for Denmark. Furthermore, we identify OPV cost thresholds of 0.9 €/Wp for Denmark and 1.6 €/Wp for Greece, below which OPV-battery systems are more cost-effective than OPV systems without battery. Building on the economic analysis, we find that battery storage can improve the environmental performances of OPV systems under certain conditions on the battery costs, the capacity of the cost-optimal OPV-battery system, and the environmental impacts of the battery. Furthermore, the composition of the electricity grid mix in the country studied was found to be an important factor to determine where OPV self-consumption was environmentally beneficial. These findings can support energy policy-makers in their development of energy strategies as well as OPV technology developers, who should adopt a systemic approach and integrate battery storage and the balance of system within their development phases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113977
JournalApplied Energy
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Organic photovoltaics
  • Economic analysis
  • Cost optimisation
  • Life cycle assessment
  • LCA
  • Electricity self-consumption


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