A new chapter on citizen preferences for co-investing in renewable energy
Cristian Pons-Seres de Brauwer, a visiting PhD student at IMES, together with Jed J. Cohen, have co-written a chapter titled 'Citizen preferences for co-investing in renewable energy: An empirical exploration of the “community-as-investor” acceptance of renewables' innovation'.
The chapter is part of Energy Transition in the Baltic Sea Region: Understanding Stakeholder Engagement and Community Acceptance, a book edited by Farid Karimi and Mikael Rodi, which has been published in open access by Routledge.
In order to catalyse citizen participation in the energy transition, Baltic Sea Region countries must transpose European legislation on citizen-driven renewable energy into national regulatory frameworks by June 2021. However, legislative efforts will remain impaired without an empirically-validated informational source base addressing the various characteristics shaping citizen participation in renewable energy initiatives. This might be particularly true for some Baltic Sea Region countries, where citizen investment preferences for co-financing community-based forms of renewable energy generation have seldom been explored. This chapter aims to address this information deficit through an analytical examination of survey data obtained from a discrete choice experiment conducted across every Baltic Sea Region country. Through regression analysis, we draw inference on the relative influence that national socio-economic trends, energy cultures and demographic factors have in shaping the participation of citizens as co-investors in community energy developments. Results indicate an elevated interest for co-investing in community energy, with social cohesion on national energy cultures, electricity prices and market shares of existing generators yielding relevant effects on respondents’ willingness to co-invest in community energy across the region. Our results may facilitate an empirically-validated knowledge source base for calibrating more citizen-centric policy mixes that support community-anchored renewables’ innovation diffusion processes.