Needs of Multidisciplinary Training for Engineers: Efficiency, Sustainability and Profitability of Solar Energy Plants
New challenges are been imposed on the markets of developed and developing countries. On the one hand, it has come the phenomenon of globalization. And the other is the economic and environmental sustainability. In a world dominated by technology, engineers as mentors and supporters are expected to gear the decisions of companies’ investments. Besides the technical characteristics of any investment, project design usually involves its economic valuation and profitability analysis. So, to meet the multidisciplinary labor market demands, engineering students require some knowledge of economic analysis techniques to complete their education. In this study we use both capital budgeting and energy production techniques to analyze the yield of photovoltaic power plants. First of all, we describe the technical characteristics of a solar installation addressed to electricity production and we estimate the energy output, which mainly depends on the solar irradiation hitting the solar modules. Further, taking into account the energy production we apply capital budgeting techniques to assess the profitability of such investment. Regarding economics we describe the main concepts: the net present value, the internal rate of return and the payback. These are standard viability indicators to assess the profits and assist the investor in business decisions. These parameters are estimated for two photovoltaic power plants located in Spain and Gemany, which starts its production activity at present, without any kind of economic incentives. Indeed, the addition of capital budgeting techniques would expand the success chances in renewable energy projects.
Solar Energy Investments, Capital Budgeting, Net Present Value, Profitability, Energy Production in PV Plants
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