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Green hope or red herring? Examining consumer perceptions of peer-to-peer energy trading in the United Kingdom

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sara Walker

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This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Elsevier Ltd, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Abstract

© 2020Across the globe, electricity sectors have seen a relatively large increase in the number of installations of small renewable energy systems, leading to an interest in the potential role of the prosumer. These prosumers (producers and consumers of electricity) could help drive electricity sector transformation, but at present electricity trading is associated with a lack of control and power held by consumers. Peer-to-peer trading schemes between energy consumers are increasingly being reported in the trade press as a new way to empower consumers, especially since the advent of blockchain, an emergent technology that could facilitate the adoption of such schemes. Research to understand how and why electricity trading occurs has received little attention within literature thus far. In this study we investigated the existing elements of electricity trading. A total of 16 structured interviews with domestic consumers, business consumers, domestic prosumers and business prosumers were undertaken. All interviews identified ease of payment as a key theme for electricity trading (although we note that ease may be in tension with sustainability and greater awareness of energy-related environmental impacts). Consumer interviews also identified lack of engagement with the process of receiving energy, and cost, as key themes. Prosumer interviews identified positive associations with power, and personal and business image, as key themes. Therefore, it is recommended that these factors be incorporated into the user interface of blockchain systems, to potentially increase adoption for peer-to-peer trading.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Pumphrey K, Walker SL, Andoni M, Robu V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energy Research and Social Science

Year: 2020

Volume: 68

Print publication date: 01/10/2020

Online publication date: 17/05/2020

Acceptance date: 07/05/2020

Date deposited: 30/07/2020

ISSN (print): 2214-6296

ISSN (electronic): 2214-6326

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101603

DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101603


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