Prosumption and the distribution and supply of electricity

Sandra Bellekom, Maarten J. Arentsen, Kirsten van Gorkum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Increasing numbers of households install renewable energy production systems like photovoltaic panels thereby contributing to a more sustainable energy system. Other developments, like in-home storage or peer-to-peer exchange within a neighbourhood, also contribute to the transition. This paper explores the emerging rise of these prosumers of electricity and its implications, in particular for grid management and electricity supply in the Netherlands. Methods With the help of an agent-based model, we illustrate the evolution of prosumption in a small Dutch-oriented residential community in five scenarios. The second part of the paper discusses the implications of the modelled rise in prosumption. Results Depending on the number of prosumers, combined with storage and peer-to-peer supply, we found a share of prosumption in this local community of about 28–30 %. The community will require less electricity from the central power plants. These model results also indicate that the management of the local network will become more important if more households become prosumers in combination with storage and peer-to-peer supply. Conclusions These trends affect current business models of DSOs and electricity production and supply companies. The latter are facing a loss of turnover which needs to be compensated by developing alternative business models. And, DSOs have to deal with the new needs on the local grid which also require an adaptation of their business models. Developing business models in cooperation with local energy communities could be an attractive alternative to explore.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalEnergy, sustainability and society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2016


  • IR-101106
  • METIS-317732


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