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Photovoltaic self-consumption in buildings: A review


  • Luthander, Rasmus
  • Widén, Joakim
  • Nilsson, Daniel
  • Palm, Jenny


The interest in self-consumption of PV electricity from grid-connected residential systems is increasing among PV system owners and in the scientific community. Self-consumption can be defined as the share of the total PV production directly consumed by the PV system owner. With decreased subsidies for PV electricity in several countries, increased self-consumption could raise the profit of PV systems and lower the stress on the electricity distribution grid. This review paper summarizes existing research on PV self-consumption and options to improve it. Two options for increased self-consumption are included, namely energy storage and load management, also called demand side management (DSM). Most of the papers examine PV-battery systems, sometimes combined with DSM. The results show that it is possible to increase the relative self-consumption by 13–24% points with a battery storage capacity of 0.5–1kWh per installed kW PV power and between 2% and 15% points with DSM, both compared to the original rate of self-consumption. The total number of papers is however rather limited and further research and more comparative studies are needed to give a comprehensive view of the technologies and their potential. Behavioral responses to PV self-consumption and the impact on the distribution grid also need to be further studied.

Suggested Citation

  • Luthander, Rasmus & Widén, Joakim & Nilsson, Daniel & Palm, Jenny, 2015. "Photovoltaic self-consumption in buildings: A review," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 80-94.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:142:y:2015:i:c:p:80-94
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.12.028

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