Consumers’ preferences for different energy mixes in Australia

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Conference Proceeding
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Policy makers worldwide face several challenges in addressing climate change, including an understanding of how to successfully introduce initiatives reliant on renewable energy sources (RES). A key component in this is understanding citizen preferences in terms of willingness to pay (WTP). This research focuses on utilising a discrete choice experiment and associated hybrid choice model to model individual WTP for four different RES types (biomass, hydro, solar and wind) against four current and potential non-RES types (gas, oil, nuclear and coal). The model accounts for latent segments in relation to WTP based on pro-environmental attitudes and various socio-demographics. The research examines the case of Australia, but reports on WTP at each state and territory level rather than at the national level. The findings indicate that respondents from different states and territories have heterogeneous preferences in terms of energy mix composition, which led to different WTP values. A large dissonance emerges also comparing preferences at national and state/territory level, which may potentially act as hindrance to the achievement of the goal set for the Paris agreement.
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