The CLEAR-X project aims to get renewable technologies into the hands of 38,000 consumers across Europe through the organisation of collective purchase campaigns. However, another core aspect of the project is assessing how European legislation can be made more prosumer-friendly; that is, asking how it can be made easier for consumers to find out about, buy and install renewable energy devices (RES).
Research conducted by national consumer organisations on the ground across seven European countries has highlighted eight key barriers to becoming a renewables self-consumer, or prosumer: someone with renewable technologies installed in their home, who can generate their own energy, and sell it back to the grid.
“The barriers are quite diverse,” commented Eoin Kelly, energy policy officer at BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation. “They range from the high upfront cost of renewable technologies, to a lack of tenants’ rights, to insufficient capacity in electricity grids, with many others in between. For every barrier, our project partners have proposed solutions, but the actors responsible for tackling the barriers differ from one case to the next.”
“The European Commission has made it clear through its Fit for 55 package, and more recently its Solar Strategy, that engaging prosumers is key for hitting Europe’s climate targets, and unlocking a prosumer revolution across the continent,” explained Petra Cakovska of Slovakian consumer organisation SOS. “But we need to see concerted action at all three levels, European, national and local, to bring down the barriers we’ve highlighted; it’s only with ambition and proper dialogue between all these actors that we’ll see real progress”, she added.
These barriers can be explored in detail in the full report.