The municipal team of a big city recently told me about the options available to them to make their energy system evolve: “we will choose the least expensive solution in terms of investment”.
What had they not said? How not to react to this assertion heard so often!
Today, cities have many economic choices that no longer rely solely on a comparison of investment costs.
First, generation technologies are multiplying. Attention must be paid to the fact that some may require significant investments to provide a lower cost of energy or lower total operating costs resulting in a much lower total cost over the life of the installation. An example? Heat networks!
The exercise is all the more difficult as the operating costs of the energy systems evolve and as the evolutions have a significant impact on the total cost of energy. We must pay more attention to several points such as:
– Less waste-generating technologies or additional equipment to limit the generation of waste will limit the impact, on the total cost of energy, of waste treatment costs that are regularly increased through a continuous regulatory pressure.
– Technologies or equipment can make it possible to manage the energy demand and to value the modulations of the demand.
– The regulation related to the protection of the environment can only get tougher, even if in the short term, the path does not seem totally free for this.
– Some technologies have higher energy efficiency
The initial level of investment required for an energy system or its evolution does not reflect its overall economic performance. Reasoning in full cost is now an obligation to be exercised on the most comprehensive perimeter possible.