Half of EU citizens could produce their own energy by 2050

With an increasing share of renewable energy sources in the European Union, the role of energy consumers
as active participants in the energy system is bound to expand, as the developments in an increasing number of EU Member States demonstrate. A growing number of households, public organisations and small enterprises are likely to produce energy, supply demand-side flexibility or store energy in times of oversupply. So far however, the extent of this prosumer potential in the EU is unknown. Global and EU-wide decarbonisation scenarios typically model increasing RES capacities, but do not go into the details of how this is achieved, and what role prosumers, also referred to as energy citizens, could play in these developments.

The European energy market is switching from fossil fuels and nuclear to renewable energy, but there is also a shift from a centralised market dominated by large utilities to one in which people produce their own energy and help to manage demand.

Many households, public entities and SMEs have become electricity producers, by installing solar PV on their roofs or by taking part in community initiatives for wind turbines. Projects are being implemented to use electric vehicles to store locally-produced renewable electricity while several cities and communities are actively pursuing the goal of becoming self-sufficient and reliant on renewable energy
only, encouraging their inhabitants to be actively involved in developments. With a population of more than 500 million, some 216 million households and around 20 million small enterprises (< 50 employees), there is clearly a huge potential for active energy citizens, or prosumers, in the EU.Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2016