'Self-Generation' is the use of power generated on-site by an energy consumer in order to reduce, at least in part, the purchase of electricity from the grid (Council of European Energy Regulators, CEER Position Paper on Renewable Energy Self-Generation, September 2016, p. 1).

                       
                 
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15 December 2021

 

Proposal of the definition of "active customer" added to the new edition of Gas Directive.

   

 

'Prosumer', 'self-generator' and 'self-consumer' are words sometimes used interchangeably (equally 'self-generation' and 'self-consumption').

 

The following aspects of the self-consumption are underlined by the CEER's other analysis of 11 April 2017 "Status Review of Renewable Support Schemes in Europe" (C16-SDE-56-03, p. 26, 27):

 

- Self-consumption is allowed in all CEER member countries.


- In most cases, no specific schemes for self-consumption are in place, i.e. the volume of self-produced RES electricity is not being measured nor being subject to any financial contribution to the overall system costs (e.g. Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, and Poland ).


- Most countries do not have figures about the share of self-consumed electricity (both RES and conventional electricity). Where available, the estimates range between less than 1% (e.g. Sweden) up to 11% (Germany). Malta indicated a share of 23% of self-consumed PV electricity. When specific arrangements are in place, those are in most cases taking the form of reduced contributions to the regular taxes, levies or network charges usually applied to electricity taken from the grid (e.g. Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, and Spain).


- France has introduced a scheme where prosumers connected and using the grid can self-consume and inject excess self-generated electricity into the network, which they can either sell to a third party, or give away freely (which would result in less power losses for the Distribution System Operator). A specific call for tender was organised during the second half of 2016, one of the goals was to promote self-consumption for RES installations by supporting both injected and self-consumed electricity. Spontaneous self-consumption remains allowed, i.e. where consumers self-consume for their own need and do not inject excess electricity.


- In order to implement specific self-consumption schemes, it is necessary to measure the share of self-consumed electricity. In those cases, the CEER member states have indicated having two meters in place for these purposes.

 

The new legislative framework for the self-generation has been introduced with the adoption of the Clean Energy Package (known also as “the Winter Energy Package”), in particular:

 

- the Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on common rules for the internal market in electricity (recast),


- the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast).

 

The former has set up the definition of the ‘active customer’ being ‘a final customer, or a group of jointly acting final customers, who consumes or stores electricity generated within their premises located within confined boundaries or, where allowed by a Member State, within other premises, or sell self-generated electricity or participates in flexibility or energy efficiency schemes, provided that these activities do not constitute their primary commercial or professional activity’ (Article 2(6)).

 

The latter, in turn, introduced its own concepts of:

 

- ‘renewables self-consumer’ - ‘a final customer operating within its premises located within confined boundaries or, where permitted by a Member State, within other premises, who generates renewable electricity for its own consumption, and who may store or sell self-generated renewable electricity, provided that, for a non-household renewables self-consumer, those activities do not constitute its primary commercial or professional activity’ (Article 2(14)), and

 

- ‘jointly acting renewables self-consumers’ - ‘a group of at least two jointly acting renewables self-consumers in accordance with point (14) who are located in the same building or multi-apartment block’ (Article 2(15)).

 

The provisions for ‘energy communities’ have also been laid down.

 
As regards gas active customers, the legal catalogue of definitions in Article 2 of the European Commission Proposal of 15 December 2021 for a Directive of the European Parliament Parliament and of the Council on common rules for the internal markets in renewable and natural gases and in hydrogen (COM/2021/803 final) a new point 71 has been supplemented, which defines a ‘active customer’ in the gas framework as "a final natural gas customer, or a group of jointly acting final natural gas customers, who consumes or stores renewable gas, produced within its premises located within confined boundaries or, where permitted by a Member State, within other premises, or who sells self-produced renewable gas using the natural gas system, or participates in energy efficiency schemes, provided that those activities do not constitute its primary commercial or professional activity".

 

Interestingly, according to Article 21(5) of the Directive (EU) 2018/2001:

“The renewables self-consumer's installation may be owned by a third party or managed by a third party for installation, operation, including metering and maintenance, provided that the third party remains subject to the renewables self-consumer's instructions. The third party itself shall not be considered to be a renewables self-consumer”.


Active customers can be equally: household and non-household final customers.