Green Power Already Out of Breath? Why Do German Consumers Not Switch to Green Electricity?

Green Power Already Out of Breath? Why Do German Consumers Not Switch to Green Electricity?

eBook - 2014
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The following investigation provides a profound analysis on the motives that hinder German consumers from shifting to green power vendors. While academic research provides many potential reasons, only a few investigations have so far dealt with internal and external influences on switching behavior as well as actual compliance with theoretical models. In this context, a survey has been undertaken in the Federal State of Mecklenburg-West-Pomerania to analyze the personal relevance of different motives for consumers. Furthermore, the survey also aimed at analyzing the compliance of theoretical criteria, provided by the Norm Activation Model, and the Theory of Planned Behavior in order to see whether respondents intend to switch after all. Therefore, the survey was distributed via the snowball system, and has been completed by 115 respondents, providing data on 77 respondents who still consume conventional power.   Auszug aus dem Text Text sample: Chapter 3, The German Electricity Market: Since allied governmental forces have implemented liberalization in the German electricity market in 1998, significant competition-related shifts have taken place as well as changes in the composition of energy sources pushed by domestic and European legislation (Bundesverband, 2007: 6). After immediate market entry reactions of new power suppliers soon abated, the market cleared resulting in a regional division among four major power suppliers which are EnBW, Vattenfall, RWE and E.ON including their side branches in green power and subsidiaries (Bundesverband, 2007: 6-7). Apart from the big four suppliers, there are municipal energy suppliers in almost every region as well as smaller regional suppliers specializing on certain green segments (Rommel/Meyerhoff, 2009: 76). Besides the competitive changes, the fully established free market situation led to
compositional power supply changes. Major initiators of these compositional modifications of electricity supply sources were political forces mainly on the domestic level (Häder, 2010: 11-12). The national governmental commitment to climate change mitigation has changed the composition of energy resources over time by fostering the emergence of renewable energies in order to achieve the aspired greenhouse gas reduction agreed upon in Kyoto (Kemfert/Schneider, 2009: 92). While this Kyoto Protocol had set a twenty-one percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 compared to 1990 (Kemfert/Schneider, 2009: 92), Germany's governance even extended ist own goal up to fourty percent until 2020 (Häder, 2010: 11). As the German electricity sector accounts with forty percent (Häder, 2010: 12) for a very high proportion of overall energy-related emissions, it uncovers a considerably high potential of emissions reduction yet to be exploited. Therefore, extensive climate-related laws were enforced on a national basis whereat the energy sector was covered by several individual programs, summarized with the overall name 'integrated energy and climate program' (IEKP - Integriertes Energie- und Klimaprogramm) (Rommel/Meyerhoff, 2009: 75). Among the IEKP, the most important and wide-ranging regulation in the electricity sector is the 'Renewable Energy Sources Act' (EEG - Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz), whose first draft was established in 2000 (Häder, 2010: 12). The main idea of the EEG draws on the 'principle of the common burden' as every domestic resident is charged an additional minor price premium when paying for electricity consumption irrespective of any deliberate green power supply intention of consumers (Menges/Traub, 2008: 263). The price premiums are financing governmental subsidizing efforts for green power producers in order to make green
electricity production more attractive. Therefore, these subsidizing principles are based on a 'feed-in payment scheme' that guarantees constant feed-in payments for green power suppliers over a period of twenty years (Christ/Bothe, 2007: 4). Recent studies have confirmed, that the EEG has already 'created strong economic incentives for electric power companies to generate electricity from renewable sources by granting sales prices for such energy which are sufficient to cover the higher production costs' (Gerpott/Mahmudova, 2010: 464). Furthermore, the EEG has significantly prevented greenhouse gas emissions by contributing fifty-five million tons less carbon dioxide equivalents in 2009 (BMU, 2010 a: 6). Although the German government has implemented measures like the EEG to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with the help of renewable energies, it is also legally bound by European Environmental legislation. When the European Union (EU) initiated an Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), coming into effect in 2005, it aimed at reducing carbon dioxid emissions on a common European basis by applying the polluter-pays principle (Menges/Traub, 2008: 263). This goal was to be achieved with the help of handing out certificates as a mean of emission allowance per ton, directed at those causing the majority of carbon dioxide pollution. First of all, the pollution causers are electricity producers (among other industrial companies such as steel and glass factories) with a combustion heat performance of more than twenty Megawatt (MW) (Häder, 2010: 12). The EU established a market for these ETS certificates to be traded at and planned to subsequently hand out less emission certificates over time and hence, realize a reduction of CO2 emissions (Kemfert/Schneider, 2009: 93). However, the significantly different approaches of the EU and Germany towards carbon dioxide
reduction has resulted in interactions between the multi-layered legislation (Häder, 2010: 15). While Germany's government heavily subsidises renewables, ist effect of prevented emissions lead to released certificates in the EU Emissions Trade (Häder, 2010: 17-18). In effect, experts challenge the actual effectiveness of the German EEG as the overall result is that Germany's cost-intensive natinal efforts in the course of the EEG become emission-neutral on a European basis (Häder, 2010: 12-13). Still, the discussion of the reasonability of both legislative measures shall not be further discussed here as the main focus of this paper is to find reasons why consumers do not switch. In this context, the question remains if both legislative measures do provide benefits insofar as they create an incentive for customers to switch to green power suppliers or are they solely a burden for consumers due to increased electricity prices. However, an examination of this issue is beyond the scope of this paper's investigations.   Biographische Informationen Sarah Herz was born in 1988. She received a double bachelor's degree in International Business Studies at the University of Applied Science in Wernigerode, Germany, and at the University of Southern Denmark, in Esbjerg in 2012. Subsequently, she started her master's degree in Business Psychology at the University of Bremen, Germany. The author's international experience in Denmark and Finland, each of them lasting for one year, have made her a lot more sensible for her native culture, and thus, enforced a strong interest in the combination of culture-specific psychological issues and business contexts.
Publisher: Hamburg : Diplomica Verlag, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9783954895748
9783954890743
Branch Call Number: Electronic book
Characteristics: 1 online resource (99 pages)
Additional Contributors: ProQuest (Firm)

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