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Journal of Renewable Energy
Volume 2018, Article ID 9759680, 16 pages
Research Article

Economic Assessment and Business Models of Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems in Multiapartment Buildings: Case Studies for Austria and Germany

Vienna University of Technology, Energy Economics Group (EEG), Gusshausstrasse 25-29/E370-3, 1040 Vienna, Austria

Correspondence should be addressed to Bernadette Fina;

Received 12 November 2017; Accepted 23 January 2018; Published 20 February 2018

Academic Editor: Onder Ozgener

Copyright © 2018 Bernadette Fina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper analyses the profitability and business models of shared, nonsubsidized PV systems’ usage in multiapartment buildings in Austria in the context of legislative amendments which came into force in July 2017. In addition, it compares the Austrian results with those of Germany, where significantly higher retail electricity prices determine the profitability benchmark. To that end, a multiobjective optimization model is developed for the optimal dimensioning of PV systems and energy storage facilities in keeping with different end user objectives, ranging from minimizing annual electricity costs to maximizing self-consumption. The results show that the profitability of shared use of nonsubsidized PV systems is marginal in Austria. This means that, based on individual apartment load profiles, the profitability gap ranges between 0 and 40 euros per apartment, whereas the consideration of the building as total load leads to a small cost-saving potential of about 90 euros for the whole building in the best case and thus profitability. In contrast, significant profitability of shared PV systems in multiapartment buildings can be achieved in Germany, where the renewable energy surcharge results in high retail electricity prices. At present, different business models, accounting and billing concepts, are being tested in these countries to learn about the best-practice concepts.