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An Empirical Study of How Household Energy Consumption Is Affected by Co-Owning Different Technological Means to Produce Renewable Energy and the Production Purpose

Roth, Lucas; Lowitzsch, Jens; Yildiz, Özgür

FG Umweltprüfung und Umweltplanung

The transition from fossil fuel-based to renewable energy sources is one of the main economic and social challenges of the early 21st century. Due to the volatile character of wind and solar power production, matching supply and demand is essential for this transition to be successful. In this context, the willingness of private consumers to use energy flexibly has gained growing attention. Research indicates that a viable driver to motivate consumers to be demand flexible is to make them (co-)owners of renewable energy production facilities. However, existing research has only analyzed this question from an aggregated perspective. This article analyses whether behavioral changes triggered by (co-)ownership in renewables differ according to the type of installation; be it solar, wind, or bioenergy. In addition, the prosumption options self-consumption/self-consumption and sale/sale are considered. To do so, we collected 2074 completed questionnaires on energy consumption that entered an econometric model using propensity score matching to control for estimation biases. We find significant differences in the willingness to consume electricity in a flexible manner for (co-)owners of solar installations. However, only the usage of household appliances proves to be statistically significant (p-value = 0.04). Furthermore, the results show that within the group of (co-)owners of solar installation, the choice between self-consumption and sale of the produced energy has a significant effect on the inclination to become demand flexible (p-value ≤ 0.001; p-value = 0.003).