Diffusion of Green Innovations: The Role of Consumer Characteristics for Domestic Energy Storage Adoption
34 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018 Last revised: 9 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 4, 2018
Against the background of a growing share of renewable energies and the ensuing fluctuations in electricity supply, domestic energy storage poses a promising option to foster flexible electricity demand and grid-stabilising self-supply. Understanding the determinants of adoption decisions regarding energy storage is therefore essential to enable targeted measures to promote their diffusion. This paper presents an in-depth analysis of motivational and psychological factors as well as product characteristics that affect the willingness to adopt domestic energy storage based on a selective sample focused on solar panel owners as the main energy storage target group. We find that potential adopters differ systematically in their evaluation of economic and non-economic utility aspects of domestic energy storage. Using correlation-based average linkage clustering, we identify four distinct types of storage adopters, namely finance-oriented, security-oriented, idealistic and multilaterally oriented households. The results of random forest analysis further reveal that adoption motives and the willingness to adopt vary substantially among the different types. We show that the most promising future adopters can be predicted based solely on observable characteristics. Our findings emphasise that segment-specific policy strategies and support mechanisms are needed to stimulate energy storage adoption to pave the way for a sustainable energy system.
Keywords: Energy storage, Consumer segmentation, Adoption Decision, Random Forests, Innovation diffusion
JEL Classification: C38, C45, D12, D91, O33, Q56
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