What is self-consumption? Definition and meaning

The term self-consumption, meaning the capability of homes or businesses to generate their own power, describes an important concept in today’s energy transition. This means that self-consumption has a direct impact not only on private consumption but also on businesses. The case of the Spanish meat company, Incarlopsa, shows the importance of self-consumption  applied to the business sector which we describe in more detail in the next paragraphs.


In the case of homes, this typically means the installation of solar panels on the roof. One of the advantages of self-consumption is that customers use the power grid only when they are not using the power they generated.One other significant advantage is that it allows to save on costs while reducing the need to rely on the energy grid. Furthermore, Solar self-consumption solutions are flexible, scalable and tailored to the specific energy needs, location and budget.


What types of self-consumption are there?

In some countries, such as Spain, there are two main types of energy self consumption: one is partial self-consumption (PSC) and the other is total self-consumption (TSC).


The former (PSC) is a fairly new model of producing energy with some variations. It is run by an energy-generating solar power device. The device is connected to the grid and, through an agreement with the power company, the customer can purchase as much energy as is needed from the grid but at a lower rate than if it were sold on the spot. The installation and maintenance costs are spread over the number of units generated.


The latter (TSC) instead is a type of renewable energy generation in which consumers (usually households) produce some portion of their electricity needs using on-site power sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, wind turbines, micro-hydroelectric generators.


What are the main advantages of self-consumption and how can it help your business?

There are numerous advantages for businesses choosing to run on self-consumption. As described earlier, self-consumption, meaning the possibility for a home or business to produce its own power, is a positive change for the energy grid’s usage.


The case of the Spanish meat company Incarlopsa illustrates the numerous advantages for companies to operate this way. The advantages of self-consumption for businesses are multiple:

  • Self-consumption plays a key role in decarbonization, thereby reducing the carbon footprint
  • It saves costs while creating the optimal conditions that can lead the company to the electrification of its energy needs
  • Allows for reducing consumption peaks that have a significant impact on the costs of energy supply.


Incarlopsa's self-consumption plants

Incarlopsa, a leading pork meat production and processing company based in Castile-La Mancha, through Endesa X has executed one of the most important self-consumption projects in the meat industry and in Spain. 100% of the energy generated by the 21,000 photovoltaic modules will be self-consumed by Incarlopsa's 3 ham curing facilities in Castile-La Mancha. In addition to helping reduce emissions and their electricity bill, this self-consumption facility and the other two developed by Endesa X also have innovative technical features: the solution takes advantage of a significant part of the production plant roofs, using an adhesive solution, the panels will be attached to the structure, without the need to drillg the surfaces. Overall, this self-consumption solution will enable Incarlopsa to cover around 23 % ot its energy needs. 

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