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Exploring citizens' decision to crowdfund renewable energy projects: Quantitative evidence from France

Clémence Bourcet and Emmanuel Bovari ()

Energy Economics, 2020, vol. 88, issue C

Abstract: Over the past few years, benefiting from broad citizen and political support, renewable energy (RE) crowdfunding has experienced a strong growth in France. RE crowdfunding is a relevant instrument to support the transition from fossil to RE sources by simultaneously diversifying funding possibilities, committing retail investors to the energy transition, and fostering local acceptance. Thus, it is crucial to better understand the RE crowdfunding investment decision-making process to design and assess related policies. However, the existing literature on RE crowdfunding is relatively scarce and has not focused on this issue so far. Relying on a novel survey dataset, this article specifically aims at filling this gap using a probit regression analysis. Our findings suggest that, among the French population, the main predictors of the decision to invest in RE crowdfunding (sign in parentheses) are: (i) the general opinion about the RE sector (positive), (ii) opinions about the RE sector durability (i.e., business continuity over time) and investment opportunities transparency (positive), and (iii) risk perception (negative). Besides this, positive and strong spillovers arise from existing RE investments in other vehicles. These results are unchanged by the introduction of various controls. Additionally, they suggest that the policy framework recently implemented in France – such as the Greenfin label (2015), RE development targets explicitly introduced in the Programmation pluriannuelle de l'énergie (2015), or the recent PACTE law (2019) that provides support to various green investment possibilities – is relevant to foster the development of RE crowdfunding. Such policies indeed contribute to anchor investors' expectations, improve coordination and transparency, and provide spillovers' opportunities, which are the key levers identified in this paper.

Keywords: Crowdfunding; Renewable energy investment; Probit analysis; Green Finance; France (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C25 D14 G23 Q42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2020.104754

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Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

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