Electricity market design for the prosumer era

Journal Article


Prosumers are agents that both consume and produce energy. With the growth in small and medium-sized agents using solar photovoltaic panels, smart meters, vehicle-to-grid electric automobiles, home batteries and other ‘smart’ devices, prosuming offers the potential for consumers and vehicle owners to re-evaluate their energy practices. As the number of prosumers increases, the electric utility sector of today is likely to undergo significant changes over the coming decades, offering possibilities for greening of the system, but also bringing many unknowns and risks that need to be identified and managed. To develop strategies for the future, policymakers and planners need knowledge of how prosumers could be integrated effectively and efficiently into competitive electricity markets. Here we identify and discuss three promising potential prosumer markets related to prosumer grid integration, peer-to-peer models and prosumer community groups. We also caution against optimism by laying out a series of caveats and complexities.