The rise of residential prosumers in Europe post-2020
The session focuses on residential energy prosumers and the factors that influence their choices of renewable energy products, such as rooftop solar panels. Diminishing installation costs, improvements in the performance of products through innovation, and new specific prosumer rights enable consumers to become their own suppliers and managers for (a part of) their energy needs and reduce their energy bills. Furthermore, the generation of renewable energy — whether used for the household or supplied to the system — can help reduce grid losses, congestion and network costs for all consumers in the long-term.
At present, residential prosumers are constrained by where they live in the EU. They may not have equal access to the grid, and certainly do not benefit equally from self-generation. Some prosumers can sell what they produce back to the grid, others cannot. Some Member States encourage self-generation, others do not. Barriers include uncertainty about support schemes and unstable legal and administrative frameworks, while smart grids to handle small-scale, decentralised generation are only now being developed.
The session discusses the first findings of an in-depth residential prosumer study that compares costs and benefits for prosumers across the EU, Norway, and Iceland, and addresses a number of questions, including:
- what are the main drivers of consumer choice and how can traditional consumers make the best choice regarding self-generation and storage, according to their consumption profile;
- how easy or difficult it is for traditional consumers to find and assess information on self-generation and storage;
- what are the projections for future (2020/2030) levels of residential self-generation under a number of regulatory options, including those proposed in the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package.