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Joint Storage: A Mixed-Method Analysis of Consumer Perspectives on Community Energy Storage in Germany

In this paper, we analyze consumer attitudes toward and interest in community energy storage (CES) in Germany, based on five focus group discussions and an online survey of private owners of photovoltaic (PV) systems, as well as written surveys and workshops with the residents of two residential developments where CES has been installed. We find that owners of PV systems are generally receptive to the idea of CES but are unfamiliar with it. They assume that CES is more resource- and cost-efficient than residential storage and appreciate the idea of professionally managed operation and maintenance, but are skeptical of whether fair and transparent distribution and billing can be realized. Consumers express a need for ancillary services, such as monitoring, information or energy management, but the interest in such services, however, is strongly dependent on their perception of the costs versus potential savings.