This post is taken from the newsletter ” Human warmth “, sent every Tuesday at 12 noon. Every week, journalist Nabil Wakim, who hosts the Human Warmth Podcast, answers internet users’ questions about the climate challenge. You can register for free here:
“Hello, I am wondering about the interest of solar self-consumption solutions: can they be an axis of contribution to the overall solution? They would lead everyone to modulate their consumption according to local production and would avoid the unnecessary transport of electricity from the other end of the territory. (…) What part of the energy problem can this address in your opinion? » (Question from Philippe sent to the following address: [email protected])
My answer : Yes, solar self-consumption must play a mive role in electricity production (and solar must be deployed much faster than now). But even with extensive development of renewable energies, and by installing panels in eight million houses (i.e. one in two), solar self-consumption could not account for more than 10% of the electricity mix in 2050, according to the scenarios of the Electricity transmission network (RTE).
If you want to know why the development of renewable energies is essential, you can listen this episode of Human Heat with Thomas Veyrenc from RTE.
1/ Self-consumption, what is it?
Most of the time, these are solar panels installed on a detached house, with the aim of consuming its own electricity. (Which is different from installing panels to resell its electricity to the network, as is often the case at the moment). The idea is to allow homes or businesses to produce and consume their own electricity. (To understand everything on this subject, Ademe recently posted a very well done guide that you can find here)
After having been very little developed in France, this practice is in full expansion: more than 200,000 at the last census carried out by the think tank France Territoire Solaire at the beginning of 2023 – against only 3,000 in 2015. It is carried out by individuals who can obtain solar kits that have become affordable or companies that want to protect themselves from future increases in energy prices, explains very well in this article my colleague Marjorie Cessac.
All the energy transition scenarios, whether in France or the rest of the world, foresee a very strong development of rooftop solar, with a large share of self-consumption. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that by 2030 around 100 million households will be in a situation of self-consumption.
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