Prosumers: New Actors in EU Energy Security

35 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2017 Last revised: 19 Aug 2018

See all articles by Rafael Leal-Arcas

Rafael Leal-Arcas

Alfaisal University

Feja Lesniewska

University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Filippos Proedrou

University of South Wales

Date Written: July 29, 2017


This paper critically analyses the new challenges and opportunities that prosumers, as new energy actors, bring to achieving energy security goals in the context of the European Union (EU). Following trends in the EU towards new levels of cooperation in energy governance, decentralization, and the emergence of a gig economy, the energy sector is currently undergoing a large-scale transition. One of its core aspects is the progressive top-down diffusion of potential, competences, and leverage across the energy value chain from states and corporate actors towards prosumers. While this trend creates ample potential for facilitating and improving the EU’s security of supply, as well as fulfilling its climate change targets, several caveats exist. These caveats are not confined within energy security prerogatives; they also extend to the critical management of digital security, which the digitalization of energy services brings to the fore. Private and public finance should be effectively attracted and directed to infrastructure schemes that will enable a transition from the traditional centralized power network to the decentralized nexus of smart grids. Technology will play a crucial role in facilitating the role of prosumers in the new market in-the-making.

Suggested Citation

Leal-Arcas, Rafael and Lesniewska, Feja and Proedrou, Filippos, Prosumers: New Actors in EU Energy Security (July 29, 2017). Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 2017, Vol. 48, Chapter 5, pp. 139-172, TMC Asser Press, 2018; , Available at SSRN:

Rafael Leal-Arcas (Contact Author)

Alfaisal University ( email )

P.O. Box 50927
Riyadh, 11533
Saudi Arabia

Feja Lesniewska

University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) ( email )

10 Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Filippos Proedrou

University of South Wales ( email )

Caerleon Campus
Lodge Road
Pontypridd, Wales CF37 1DL
United Kingdom

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