Trust, awareness, and independence: Insights from a socio-psychological factor analysis of citizen knowledge and participation in community energy systems

Binod Prasad Koirala* (Corresponding Author), Yashar Araghi, Maarten Kroesen, Amineh Ghorbani, Rudi A. Hakvoort, Paulien M. Herder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In order to decarbonize the energy sector, there is a widespread consensus that the role of end-users in the energy system should change from passive consumption to active prosumption and engagement. This is of particular importance as an increasing number of technologies and business models are focusing on the end-users. These developments provide new opportunities for further technical and social innovation to smarter, flexible and integrated systems such as community energy systems (CESs). Through system integration and community engagement CESs assist in transition to a low-carbon energy system. Despite the high importance, there is limited knowledge on willingness of local citizens to participate in the local energy systems such as CESs as well as associated factors determining such willingness. Through a survey among 599 citizens in the Netherlands, this research analyses the impact of demographic, socio-economic, socio-institutional as well as environmental factors on willingness to participate in CESs. Factor and multi-variate regression analysis reveals that the environmental concern, renewables acceptance, energy independence, community trust, community resistance, education, energy related education and awareness about local energy initiatives are the most important factors in determining the citizens’ willingness to participate in CESs. Citizens should be empowered to take active role in steering the local energy initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy research & social science
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Energy communities
  • Energy transition
  • Factor analysis
  • Multi-variate regression analysis
  • Citizen participation

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