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

See all articles by Christian Oberst

Christian Oberst

German Economic Institute; RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University

Date Written: September 1, 2015

Abstract

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

Oberst, Christian and Madlener, Reinhard, Prosumer Preferences Regarding the Adoption of Micro-Generation Technologies: Empirical Evidence for German Homeowners (September 1, 2015). FCN Working Paper No. 22/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2670035 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2670035

Christian Oberst (Contact Author)

German Economic Institute ( email )

Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 21
Köln, 50459
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iwkoeln.de/en

RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center ( email )

Mathieustrasse 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

School of Business and Economics / E.ON ERC
Mathieustraße 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany
+49 241 80 49 820 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49 829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

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