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Solar photovoltaic self-consumption in the UK residential sector: New estimates from a smart grid demonstration project

McKenna, EJ; Pless, J; Darby, S; (2018) Solar photovoltaic self-consumption in the UK residential sector: New estimates from a smart grid demonstration project. Energy Policy , 118 pp. 482-491. 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.04.006. Green open access

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Abstract

The economic incentive to install a solar photovoltaics (‘PV’) system depends increasingly on using PV generation on-site (‘self-consumption’) rather than receiving payments from generating solar energy and exporting it to the grid. There is, however, remarkably little empirical evidence on self-consumption. This paper begins to address this gap by analysing one-minute electricity monitoring data for 302 households that participated in a UK smart grid demonstration project. We calculate annual self-consumption levels and find that they are 855 kWh/year per household on average, or 45% of PV generation. We conduct a simple regression analysis to estimate self-consumption and use the results to show that self-consumption for an average UK household with electricity demand of 4000 kWh/year and 2.9 kWp PV system would be 966 ± 38 kWh/year, equivalent to a 24% reduction in average annual electricity demand from the grid. Our methodology can be readily applied to measure and predict self-consumption in other solar markets as well, which has increasingly important implications for valuing solar investments, setting feed-in tariffs, and examining the impacts of PV on networks and retail sales.

Type: Article
Title: Solar photovoltaic self-consumption in the UK residential sector: New estimates from a smart grid demonstration project
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.04.006
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.04.006
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Photovoltaic; Solar; Self-consumption; Feed-in tariff; Prosumer
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047969
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