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  • Study location MDH Campus Västerås, room R1-343 and at Zoom
  • 2021-04-30 09:00

The public defense of Ying Yang’s doctoral thesis

The public defense of Ying Yang’s doctoral thesis in Industrial Economics and Organisations will take place at Mälardalen University, room R1-343 (Västerås campus) and via Zoom at 09.00 on April 30, 2021.

Titel: ”The arrival of the tipping point of solar photovoltaic technology”.

Faculty examiner: Professor Reinhard Madlener, RWTH Aachen University

Examining committee: Professor Huibin Du, Tianjin University, Professor Filip Johnsson, Chalmers University of Technology, Professor Patrik Thollander, Linköping University.

Reserve: Professor Clas Eriksson, Mälardalen University.

Serial number: 334.

Registration: Send an e-mail to Madeléne Westerberg på madelene.westerberg@mdh.se


Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has become well-established for addressing both greenhouse gas emission reductions and regional air pollution. Rapid developments within the solar PV sector are still facing various technical barriers, economic impediments, and institutional barriers. The technical system innovations and their uses in society co-evolve with the engagement of multi-actors between scientific communities, users, investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Therefore, a holistic and interdisciplinary approach is called to analyze the complexities and solve the issues.

This doctoral dissertation takes a social science perspective in conjunction with technical considerations. China is a major producer and market for solar PV. But it is still not clear that how economically competitive solar PV electricity is, compared with the traditional coal-fired power generation without subsidies. Compared with China, the energy transition in Sweden has been progressively proceeding, which enables it to build a low-carbon economy with the lowest share of fossil fuels in the primary energy supply. An interesting part is to explore how solar PV applications, along with smart city transformation, change the electricity market logic with the emerging of new actors. Further, it is vital to assess the potential availability of solar applications for policymaking and grid accommodation.

In this thesis, economic feasibility, grid party capability, and investment values in the market of China are modeled, calculated, and analyzed. The geographical and technical potential of solar PV applications is explored in Sweden. Also, based on a Service-Dominant logic perspective, the new players and their roles in the transformation of smart cities are explored, using the Swedish electricity market as an example. The results of the grid parity analysis show that distributed solar PV projects have reached a tipping point of cost-effectiveness, when solar PV can be guaranteed to be competitive with conventional power sources in the context of a subsidy-free in China. This also implies a gradual replacement of currently operating coal power plants. The investment return examination shows that profitability levels vary from city to city, taking into account local resource endowments and local economic conditions. By highlighting the flexibility issues associated with integrating a higher percentage of solar power, key performance indicators are presented to assess the performance of current individual technology components and combined system modules. Zooming out to the macro level, we show the theoretical explanation of how the Swedish electricity market is being changed by renewable energies and the emergence of new actors.

Contact Information

Doctoral Student

Ying Yang


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