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Article

Does (Co-)ownership in renewables matter for an electricity consumer’s demand flexibility? Empirical evidence from Germany 

Written by Lucas Roth, Jens Lowitzsch, Özgür Yildiz, Alban Hashani.
The article was published in Energy Research & Social Science, Vol 46, Dec 2018, Pages 169-182.

Abstract

Motivating consumers to adjust their electricity demand with a volatile electricity supply is an important aspect of the energy sector’s transition from fossil to renewable energy sources. (Co-)ownership in renewable energy production facilities turned out to be successful in engaging citizens to finance infrastructures and research indicates that it can also induce behavioural changes in energy consumption. Based on the results of a survey comprising of a sample of 2143 completed questionnaires collected through an online survey and analysed with propensity score matching, this paper looks at the relationship of (co-)ownership in renewable energy production facilities and demand side flexibility.

Our results show a statistically significant effect of (co-)ownership of renewable energy production facilities on the willingness of citizens to adjust their consumption behaviour to match their electricity demand to production levels. However, this relation is complex: Only when consumer (co-)owners have the choice between self-consumption and sale of the surplus electricity production to the grid, a statistically significant difference is observed. Furthermore, positive effects on flexible consumption were only found for the usage of household appliances.