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Financial participation and acceptance of the German energy transition

A quantitative analysis of the relationship between citizens’ renewable energy investment and their general, passive, and active acceptance
: Keil, Julia
: Breitschopf, Barbara

Leipzig, 2021, 93 S.
Leipzig, Univ., Master Thesis, 2021
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer ISI ()

For the success of the German energy transition, it is important that citizens hold a positive attitude towards it on a general level (general acceptance). Furthermore, citizens must be willing to accept associated personal effects, such as renewable energy plants in their neighbourhoods (passive acceptance), and to actively contribute to the energy transition, for example through energy-saving behaviour (active acceptance). In this context, financial participation of citizens is often discussed as a potential measure to increase acceptance. Evidence in the scientific literature suggests that financial participation of local residents in renewable energy plants may contribute to acceptance of this plant. This refers to identical participation (i.e. in what do citizens participate) and acceptance objects (i.e. what do citizens accept). However, there is a lack of research on whether a person’s investment in renewable energy impacts their acceptance of different aspects of the energy transition, referring to different participation and acceptance objects. This thesis aims to contribute to this literature gap, by investigating whether citizens who financially participate in the energy transition tend to have higher levels of general, passive, and active acceptance than people who do not financially participate. The analysis is based on a quantitative online survey in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The results of the group comparison, utilizing the Mann-Whitney U test, suggest that investment in renewable energy is positively related to general acceptance and active acceptance in the form of volunteering for an initiative that supports the energy transition. However, no evidence was found that financial participation is related to higher levels of passive acceptance or active acceptance in the form of energy saving behaviour.