In 1996, the liberalization process launched in Europe’s energy sector had one major objective: ensuring affordable energy prices for all European consumers and businesses while giving them the possibility to choose freely their energy suppliers on the basis of competitive offers. This process will be completed fully only when consumers and businesses are free to choose between a classical electricity supplier and themselves; in other words, when they can produce and consume their own electricity, a process that is called “self-consumption”.

Following the recent calls of the European Commission to develop strategies in order to “empower consumers”, this briefing paper explores the benefits of self-consumption of PV-generated electricity, as well as the remaining barriers and challenges to deploy it throughout Europe. In doing so, it shows that, if based on a sustainable business model and on a proper integration into the grid, self consumption could turn PV into one of the preferred choice of consumers and businesses.

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