Adoption and Cooperation Decisions in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure: Evidence from a Sequential Choice Experiment in Germany

In this paper, we propose and apply the design of a sequential discrete choice experiment to examine homeowner preferences regarding the adoption of micro-generation systems and willingness to cooperate in sustainable energy infrastructure. Adoption and cooperation decisions of private households in the energy sector are complex, interlinked, and assumably sequential. A common design with single choice tasks reflecting both adoption and cooperation decisions is assumed as cognitively too burdensome for survey respondents. The objective of the proposed sequential choice task design is twofold. Firstly, reducing complexity for respondents. Secondly, reflecting a step-wise decision process
as is appropriate for the studied decisions. Our application from the energy sector is motivated by the need for innovative business models for non-industrial prosumers providing flexibility services in (local) distribution grids, due to an increasing amount of volatile and decentrally generated electricity. Results indicate that respondents reveal more pronounced preferences when dealing with their decision in sequential steps and that the task design has a lasting effect on respondents’ choices. By estimating latent class logit models, five consumer classes are identified and labeled by their distinguished motivational foci: costs (1), climate protection (2), self-supply (3), local reference (4), and other (5).

Author: Christian A. Oberst and Marjolein J.W. Harmsen
Volume: 2018.06
Publisher: INFER
Year: 2018
No. of pages: 27
Category: INFER working papers



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