Self-consumption and energy autarchy

When considering a photovoltaic system designed to provide energy to a user it is important to evaluate two factors that influence the profitability: the self- consumption and the autarchy degree.


The self-consumption, usually evaluated in percentage value (%), it is the relationship between the energy used which is produced from the photovoltaic plant and the totality of the energy produced by the plant itself.


Autarchy is the relationship between the energy used which is produced by the photovoltaic plant and the totality of energy necessary to users.

In summary, the first parameter tells “how much a photovoltaic plant is exploited” and the second parameter tells “how much is the independence”.

What do high autarchy values mean?

High autarchy values mean that the user has the possibility to reduce the negative impact of “electricity” price increases in the coming years and to generate their own energy from an absolute clean source.

The electric Prosumer

The energy self-consumption is achieved naturally: any time that a user is turned on when the sun is shining, the energy generated in that moment by the photovoltaic system is consumed directly.

For this reason it is important to manage the consumptions and the eventual installation of a storage system.


Average self-cosumption in Italy, GSE source

In Italy, the average self-consumption on all the photovoltaic plants in 2016 was 18.9% (GSE source) but the figure goes to 33% in plants below 20 kW that are also utilities.

Self-consumption and energy autarchy was last modified: September 21st, 2020 by Team VP Solar