The share of electricity produced from renewable resources in Germany increased to almost 32% in 2015, opening perspectives for new products and services especially for private households, who own nearly one-third of the renewable production capacities (Trendresearch, 2017). Moreover, the rapidly increasing degree of digitalization enables innovative business models and stimulates the market entry of competitors from other sectors challenging the incumbent utilities. For example, virtual and decentral market places for peer-to-peer energy trading are currently emerging and have the potential to disrupt the energy market (Löbbe and Hackbarth, 2017). The objective of this paper is, hence, to examine the motivators of private households’ willingness to participate in peer-to-peer energy trading.
Relevance to the Conference
Our analysis of the determinants of the intention to adopt energy community products perfectly fits one of the aims of the conference, i.e. the assessment of consumer opinions and preferences regarding new approaches to energy. Further, based on the rich body of literature on the adoption intention for related energy technologies, such as PV systems (e.g. Woersdorfer and Kaus, 2011; Vasseur and Kemp, 2015), our study is among the first to scientifically investigate the peer-to-peer energy community topic based on detailed empirical data.
Data and Methods
We carried out a survey in April/May of 2017 among residential customers of 6 energy utilities located in southwestern Germany. Using data from 4529 consumers we performed a regression analysis to explore the influence of product attributes (e.g. cost savings, autonomy, environmental benefits, transparency), provider characteristics, socio-demographic characteristics of the households, and personal attitudes of the consumers concerning technology, environment, and energy communities on the willingness to participate in peer-to-peer electricity trading.
Our preliminary estimation results explaining the intention to participate in peer-to-peer electricity trading can be summarized as follows: (1) Social norm, awareness, knowledge, and affinity concerning energy community have a positive influence; (2) preferences for regional production, ecology, transparency, price-consciousness and autonomy, as well as technical interest and a positive attitude towards technological innovations have a positive effect; (3) the product attributes ecology, transparency, and community have a positive influence, while ease of use, autonomy, and monetary benefits seem to be less important; (4) electric utilities and technology/telecommunication companies are the preferred providers; and (5) early adopters are more likely to be mid-aged, already produce electricity, decide all by oneself regarding energy-related issues, and communicate via social media.
Our preliminary findings show that potential early adopters of energy community products are best described by their preferences for ecology/regionality, community, transparency, and autonomy, and corresponding product attributes and their openness to technological innovations. Furthermore, household characteristics seem to be less important in explaining the differences in purchase intention. Finally, energy community products are currently of some interest to only about 10% of the respondents, so that our results establish a good starting point for decision-makers to decide on how the demand could be raised.
Löbbe, S., Hackbarth, A., 2017. The transformation of the German electricity sector and the emergence of new business models in distributed energy systems, in: F. Sioshansi (ed.): Innovation and disruption at the grid’s edge – How distributed energy resources are disrupting the utility business model, Elsevier, 287-318.
Trendresearch, 2017. Eigentümerstruktur: Erneuerbare Energien. Bremen, Germany.
Vasseur, V., Kemp, R., 2015. The adoption of PV in the Netherlands: A statistical analysis of adoption factors. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 41, 483-494.
Woersdorfer, J.S., Klaus, W., 2011. Will nonowners follow pioneer consumers in the adoption of solar thermal systems? Empirical evidence for northwestern Germany. Ecological Economics 70(12), 2282-2291.
Purchase intention, peer-to-peer electricity trading, energy community, consumer attitudeHackbarth_Loebbe_Attitudes_P2P_electricity_trading_German_households_BIEE_2018.pptx 891.64 KBHackbarth-Attitudes-preferences-and-intentions-to-participate-inpeer-to-peer-electricity-trading.pdf 320.85 KB