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Preferences for community renewable energy investments in Europe

Jed J. Cohen, Valeriya Azarova, Andrea Kollmann and Johannes Reichl

Energy Economics, 2021, vol. 100, issue C

Abstract: This paper presents the results of a choice experiment for investments in community renewable energy (CRE) projects administered across 31 European nations. In the sample of 18,037 respondents, a high level of interest in the CRE investments is observed, with 79% of respondents choosing to invest in at least one of the eight investment scenarios shown to them. Along with financial concerns, operational and siting aspects of the investment options are highly relevant to potential investors. Specifically, investments that are administered as an energy cooperative and run by a community organization are preferred to investments administered by utility companies. Heterogeneity across Europe is present in the preference for the installation to be visible from an investor's home, and thereby potentially affect the viewshed but also allow for a perception of self-sufficiency. The results suggest that energy policies hoping to increase the uptake of the CRE model across Europe would do well to focus on supporting local organizations to administer such projects, and to highlight any positive local economic impacts from renewable generation projects to potential investors.

Keywords: Energy cooperatives; Community investment; Energy citizenship; Energy transition; Choice experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2021.105386

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