Nearly 100.000 new PV prosumers in Germany

EU research project provides information on new PV concepts

Berlin, 30 March 2020: The number of prosumers – people who produce solar power and consume at least some of it locally – has increased in Germany by nearly 100.000 from February 2019 to January 2020. This has been reported by the German Solar Association, the national partner of the EU-sponsored research project PVP4GRID, which since 2017 has been analyzing these new energy concepts in eight European countries, and which is now coming to an end.

The on-site consumption of solar power, whether by an individual, family, commercial enterprise or energy cooperative, in a privately-owed house or in a rented apartment, is seen as one of the megatrends shaping the future of the energy system. “Every locally used kilowatt hour prevents the production, transport and associated losses of centrally produced and often still fossil-based electricity. Decentralized generation and decentralized consumption are achievable in many different constellations. These models ensure that the energy costs of all participants will decrease, thereby making an important contribution to reaching climate protection targets,” says Carsten Körnig, Managing Director of the German Solar Association.
Particularly high self-consumption rates can be achieved with a solar power storage unit and a charging station for electric vehicles. “PVP4Grid shows how prosuming already works in different European countries, what barriers still exist and how they can be overcome,” according to Körnig.

Self-supply with solar power changes prosumers’ energy requirements and the load profiles in the local electricity networks. By adopting grid-assistive behavior, prosumers contribute to the stabilization of the electricity networks through flexible balancing of consumption and generation, smoothing the midday peaks in solar power generation and supplying reactive power that helps stabilize grid voltage. At prosumers’ grid connection points, distribution system operators can also directly access valuable data on generating plants and local networks that is of use network operations. The technical prerequisites for this are already in place, some of which are already prescribed in the grid connection requirements. In the process of advancing the digitalization of the energy supply system, however, opportunities and incentives have to be created to offer and make use of system flexibility.

The research institutions and associations involved in this project have drawn up handbooks and guidance documents in seven languages, which are tailored to the needs of their respective countries. In addition, recommendations for the improved integration of prosumer models have also been developed and the socio-economic effects and possible reductions in CO2 emissions examined. In Germany the German Solar Association published the guide “Photovoltaics and electric mobility for commercial enterprises” for PVP4GRID, a reference paper on the future role of prosumers in network operations and a position paper on prosumers as a driver of the energy transition.

All publications are available free of charge at www.pvp4grid.eu under the tab Information for Prosumers.

An animated video on YouTube explains how prosumers can become more independent using decentralized solar power generation and supply, and how they can achieve long-term savings in energy costs: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SKlM4g5GeI

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Generating, storing and consuming solar power on site.