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.
Merla Kubli, Moritz Loock, Rolf Wüstenhagen