Self-consumption can facilitate the integration of variable renewables onto the grid and lower the overall costs of the energy system through load shifting. However, the self-consumption potential is limited without further technical enhancements in storage and demand response solutions. Such solutions can both facilitate a larger share of self-consumption and lower additional costs arising from photovoltaics integration. Unleashing the full potential that lies within the transition from passive consumers to active prosumers further requires information and communications technology solutions and smart battery-charging algorithms. This is necessary to ensure the exchange of information between the grid and prosumers, and thus a smooth integration of overproduction into the grid.
Self-consumption is profitable for consumers if the costs of locally produced renewables are lower than retail electricity prices. If such a parity of costs is achieved, support schemes such as feed-in tariffs could be phased out. However, a high penetration of self-consumption solutions might lead to an unfair distribution of network charges, taxes, and ... mehrlevies. Future energy policy should therefore consider how to best reallocate costs.