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The impacts of photovoltaic electricity self-consumption on value transfers between private and public stakeholders in France

Roulot, Jonathan, Raineri, Ricardo
Energy policy 2018 v.122 pp. 459-473
business planning, consumers (people), electricity, income, issues and policy, risk, sales, solar collectors, stakeholders, France
Between 2016 and 2017, the French Government made significant advances in shaping the new legislative structure in order to support photovoltaic electricity self-consumption, which is a growing challenge for many countries developing renewables close to the grid parity. By analyzing all the main financial flows linked to the electric bill, the sales of electricity and the investment in photovoltaic systems, this study aims to identify the stakeholders that benefit or suffer the most from value transfers caused by photovoltaic electricity self-consumption compared to full injection. The results suggest a shortfall of revenue for the distribution system operator. An increase in the electric bill of other grid customers will undoubtedly offset this shortfall. Simultaneously, the French State would make savings for individual self-consumption projects below 100 kWp. The new policy also incentivizes the self-consumption for big consumers for whom it is more profitable and competitive. Self-consumption projects tend to be economically more attractive than projects in full injection when the photovoltaic system is not oversized for the electric demand. The policy may consequently imply risks for the equalization of electric grid charges among consumers, the sustainability of the current business strategy of utilities and the security of supply.