Solar Prosumage: An Economic Discussion of Challenges and Opportunities

  • Wolf-Peter SchillEmail author
  • Alexander Zerrahn
  • Friedrich Kunz


Decentral self-consumption of renewable electricity has gained relevance in power markets around the world, driven by decreasing technology costs and favourable regulatory conditions. In this chapter, we adopt an economic perspective on the potential role of “prosumage” of renewable electricity for the low-carbon energy transition. We extend the concept “prosumption” (production and consumption) to “prosumage” (production, consumption, and storage): decentral energy storage by batteries enables prosumers to detach the moments of electricity generation and consumption. First, we give an overview of recent literature on the subject, including a brief digression on the role of network charging schemes. Second, we examine arguments in favour of and against increasing prosumage in the context of the low-carbon energy transformation. For comparability, we discuss likely benefits and drawbacks of prosumage against the reference of a centrally optimised electricity system assuming the same renewable generation capacities, and not against a system based on fossil fuels. Third, we present a quantitative, model-based analysis to illustrate possible effects of increased prosumage on the electricity system. To this end, we apply the open-source electricity system model DIETER to a future German electricity system of the year 2035.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolf-Peter Schill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander Zerrahn
    • 1
  • Friedrich Kunz
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW Berlin)BerlinGermany

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