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More than innovativeness: Comparing residents’ motivations for participating renewable energy communities in different innovation segments

Jianjun Wang, Fang Liu, Li Li and Jian Zhang

Renewable Energy, 2022, vol. 197, issue C, 552-563

Abstract: Renewable energy communities (RECs) are energy innovations that promote the consumption of renewable energy in residential sectors and reduce fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions. However, according to the diffusion of innovation theory, residential consumers should be divided into distinct innovation diffusion groups considering participation in RECs, and differentiated guidance strategies should be adopted. By using the agglomerative clustering method, this study clustered the research objects into three innovation diffusion groups based on the innovativeness indicator: “Earlier Adopters,” “Mid-term Adopters,” and “Later Adopters.”. And then the willingness to participate in RECs for different groups was explained by a structural model, which was constructed by integrating the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and altruistic values of value–belief–norm (VBN). By comparing the simulating results of the structural model for each group, the differences in the characteristics of the three innovation diffusion groups and the effects of factors affecting the willingness of participating RECs were revealed: comparing to other groups, “Earlier Adopters” of RECs are significantly more adventurous. Simultaneously, the three groups showed obvious differences in the perception level of community identity, altruistic values, and subjective norms. Generally, the “Later adopters” have obviously lower perception level of the above three factors, however, the impacts of these factors on the willingness of participating RECs for each group are more complex. The willingness of “Earlier Adopters” to participate in RECs is significantly more affected by attitudes toward behavior and altruism, the willingness of “Mid-term Adopters” is significantly more affected by perceived behavior control (PBC), and the willingness of “Later Adopters” is significantly more affected by subjective norms and community identity. Based on these findings, different guiding strategies that needed to be adopted for increasing the willingness of participating RECs for each group are proposed.

Keywords: Renewable energy community; Diffusion of innovation; Willingness to accept; Segments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2022.07.141

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