The flexible prosumer: Measuring the willingness to co-create distributed flexibility

Item Type Journal paper

Rising shares of fluctuating renewables increase the need for flexibility in the power market. At the same time, the emergence of the prosumer has created new opportunities for co-creation of distributed flexibility. As of yet, there is surprisingly little empirical analysis in terms of whether individuals are actually ready to co-create flexibility, and if so, under which conditions these resources can be mobilized by grid operators or electricity supply companies. We address this gap in the energy economics literature with three studies analyzing in total 7′216 individual decisions in a series of choice experiments with 902 study participants in three main domains of residential energy prosumption: (1) solar PV plus storage, (2) electric mobility, (3) heat pumps. We develop a novel measure of the prosumers’ willingness to co-create flexibility, and solicit their preferences for power supply contracts with varying levels of flexibility to derive implied discomfort costs. Our results indicate that current and potential electric car and solar PV users exhibit a higher willingness to co-create flexibility than heat pump users. Reaping the potential in those two domains requires taking the prosumer perspective into account when designing policy instruments and creating adequate business models.

Authors Kubli, Merla; Loock, Moritz & Wüstenhagen, Rolf
Projects Loock, Moritz; Reuter, Emmanuelle & Bohnsack, René (2015) EMPOWER - Local Electricity Retail Markets for Prosumer Smart Grid Power Services [fundamental research project] Official URL
Wüstenhagen, Prof. Dr. Rolf; Davis, Prof. Ph.D James W.; Frauendorfer, Prof. Dr. Karl; Gassmann, Prof. Dr. Oliver; Hettich, Prof. Dr. Peter; Frankenberger, Prof. Dr. Karolin; Gratwοhl, Prof. Dr. Μichael; Hille, Prof. Dr. Stefanie Lena; Palmié, Prof. Dr. Maximilian; Richert, Prof. Dr. Joern; Walther, Prof. Dr. Simone; Ebers, Ph.D Anna; Dharshing, Samdruk Dolma; Haefner, Naomi; Hofmann, Benjamin; Kahlert, Jonas & Kubli, Merla (2013) SCCER CREST [applied research project] Official URL
Loock, Moritz & Wüstenhagen, Rolf (2013) HeatReserves: Demand Response for Ancillary Services [applied research project]
Gamma, Dr. Karoline; Wüstenhagen, Prof. Dr. Rolf & Reuter, Dr. Emmanuelle Consumer acceptance of electric mobility
Journal or Publication Title Energy Policy
Language English
Subjects business studies
Institute/School University of St.Gallen
IWOE - Institute for Economy and the Environment
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 4 January 2018
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 114
Page Range 540-548
Number of Pages 9
ISSN 0301-4215
Publisher DOI
Official URL
Contact Email Address
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Rolf Wüstenhagen
Date Deposited 09 Jan 2018 11:29
Last Modified 09 Jan 2018 11:29


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Kubli, Merla; Loock, Moritz & Wüstenhagen, Rolf (2018) The flexible prosumer: Measuring the willingness to co-create distributed flexibility. Energy Policy, 114 540-548. ISSN 0301-4215

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