Motivations and barriers to integrating ‘prosuming’ services into the future decentralized electricity grid: Findings from Israel

Research paper by Lucy Michaels, Yael Parag

Indexed on: 01 Nov '16Published on: 24 Jul '16Published in: Energy Research & Social Science


Publication date: November 2016 Source:Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 21 Author(s): Lucy Michaels, Yael Parag Technological advances allow electricity consumers to become ‘prosumers’, offering services to the grid, such as generation, demand reduction, load shifting and electricity storage. Well-integrated prosumers improve the resilience and efficiency of the energy system and facilitate the integration of renewable energy, improving energy and climate security. These technologies, however, change how energy services are experienced. Understanding public perceptions is necessary prior to widespread introduction. A 2015 survey (n=509) investigated perceptions of demand reduction, load shifting and energy storage technologies as prosumer activities in Israel. Israelis showed little interest in remote controlled household appliances to facilitate load shifting, preferring to respond personally via smart controls to information communicated by the grid. There was similar low interest in permitting grid access to electricity stored in personal electric vehicle batteries. Financial incentives increased acceptance in both cases to a third of respondents. The survey identified various barriers to acceptance: health and privacy concerns about smart meters; low trust in the institutions overseeing these technologies; perceived low public support to reduce electricity demand; how incentives were framed and no perceived relationship with meeting national energy priorities such as affordability and energy independence. The young and the observant Jewish community showed greatest acceptance of new technologies.