Financial, technical and social innovations are essential prerequisites for a successful transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies (RES). In order to balance demand with a volatile energy supply and to increase acceptance of new technologies like smart meters, it is necessary to build new energy infrastructure and motivate consumers to change their consumption habits.
In this context, consumer (co-)ownership in RE has proven to be an essential cornerstone to the overall success of energy transition. When consumers acquire ownership in RE, they become prosumers, thus generating a part of the energy they consume. Like this, they are reducing their overall expenditure for energy. At the same time, consumers receive a second source of income from the sale of excess production. Hence, positive behavioural changes in energy consumption can occur.
“Prosumer” models, however, are still not widely implemented across Europe, and the participation of women and social groups prone to fuel poverty is still rather uncommon: So far the typical “prosumer” is male, middle aged and has a higher income.