Prosumer Preferences Regarding the Adoption of Micro-Generation Technologies: Empirical Evidence for German Homeowners
FCN Working Paper No. 22/2014
47 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015 Last revised: 13 Oct 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2015
This paper investigates the preferences of homeowners in Germany regarding the adoption of renewable energy‐based micro‐generation technologies using data from a survey with a discrete choice experiment. In the German policy debate, private households, in their possible joint roles as electricity producers and consumers, are discussed as potential key actors for the transition of the energy system towards a decentralized energy market based on renewable energies. In our study, we address the relevance of investment and usage characteristics as well as the perceived importance of both private and social costs and benefits behind prosumer preferences for the adoption of generic electricity micro‐generation technologies. The empirical investigation is based on a conditional logit model. The results show the perceived usefulness of electricity self‐supply, indicating that the motivation for electricity "prosuming" is about more than just using green electricity and undertaking a profitable (energy) investment. Policy makers should not rely on the intrinsic motivation of households to contribute towards climate protection but instead take social effects more strongly into account in their policies which aim to foster the energy system transition (“Energiewende”). Further, both energy policies and business models should avoid the introduction of overly complex measures which might be too demanding on households.
Keywords: Prosumer, micro‐generation technologies, choice experiment, renewable energy, energy transition, policy
JEL Classification: C25, D12, O33, Q20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation