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The willingness of Dutch citizens to participate in a prosumer community

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Energy transition is becoming an urgent issue in the Netherlands. Cities are expected to become more important in transitioning towards decentralized future energy systems, in which there are new opportunities for local energy concepts. A potential solution to increase the share of renewable energy sources in cities is the encouragement of citizens to become energy producers: ‘prosumers’. In a prosumer community, energy is generated decentralized by renewable energy resources and the excess of energy is shared with the grid and/or with other prosumer/consumers in a community. However, the world’s energy-related problems cannot only be solved by technological advances, but changes in human behavior are essential. Therefore, the objective of this thesis is to gain insight in the decisive factors of Dutch citizens to participate in a prosumer community taking into consideration socio-demographic characteristics. In addition, a new concept of a prosumer community is introduced to the current literature in which energy efficient implementations are determined by their high energetic efficiency, general suitability and future potential. In this research, a stated choice experiment is applied in which data of 184 respondents is collected in the Netherlands. The estimated models show that the extent of willingness to participate in a prosumer community is significantly dependent on the financial consequences of implementing energy efficient measures, a large share of the community that is involved, own control of appliances instead of automatically by a system and less involvement in organizational activities. Furthermore, the results have proven that it is of importance to focus on people based on their socio-demographic characteristics and environmental conscious attitude. All in all, the extent of Dutch citizens to participate in a prosumer community is dependent on various factors; under favorable conditions, prosumer communities may be feasible. To encourage Dutch citizens for participating in a prosumer community, the first step would therefore be to take away the financial barrier. In conclusion, a built environment with a large share of prosumer communities can positively contribute to energy neutral cities by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the share of renewable energy sources.

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