Tapping the potential of Commercial Prosumers – Drivers and policy options (RE-COM-PROSUMERS)

PV prosumers have the potential to transform the current electricity generation model and accelerate the transition to a more decentralized and interactive electricity system. The potential for commercial prosumers -with their large and unused rooftops and parking space near densely populated areas- is widely seen as a serious game changer. And yet, even in the light of a massive deployment and cost reductions of PV in recent years, the significant potential of commercial prosumers remains largely untapped. But as technological and market conditions for commercial prosumers continue to improve, policy makers – and other stakeholders – will need to think more carefully about how best to govern their rise.

These and other findings are detailed on the new IEA-RETD report on commercial prosumers, the third of a series that started with the residential and remote prosumers segments. The report analyses the various economic, behavioural, and technological drivers as well as national conditions that are either supporting or constraining the growth of prosumers in the commercial building sector. Through four detailed case studies on commercial prosumers in France, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. the report highlights how country-specific drivers influence the business case for commercial PV prosumer at representative com-mercial facilities such as supermarkets or large retail stores. As confirmed through all four case studies, the growth of commercial prosumers has been – and remains – slow, but opportunities exist for policy makers, industry associations and other stakeholders to lend support such as designing new policies for net excess generation, facilitating improved data on national commercial building stock, and developing programs that address the commercial sector’s specific needs and decision making.