The accessibility and reducing cost of distributed renewable energy sources are stimulating the emergence of small-scale residential prosumers who can produce and consume electricity. This may lead to various scenarios. Such prosumers may increase the uncertainty of consumption behavior, reduce consumption from the grid, and eventually disconnect from the grid. However, they may remain connected, and their energy potential can provide flexibility for the overall system. Current policy in some jurisdictions promotes disconnection through tax increases, grid charges, and other non-commodity costs. In particular, in Ontario (Canada) only 8.7% of the typical electricity bill covers the cost of energy and power; the remainder subsidizes governmental energy-procurement contracts, compensates the grid, pays for environmental initiatives, and covers other taxes. The situation is aggravated by a lack of a global vision for the energy system and of coordinated actions to achieve this vision. We support the preferred scenario in which prosumers remain connected to the grid. As an alternative to Ontario's current attempts to artificially slow the increase in electricity prices, we present an extended critical survey of energy policies to motivate a thoughtful reconsideration of current schemes for the economic integration of prosumers in the energy system.
Published June 2019 , 24 pages