In addition to classic environmental research topics, the DFIU is increasingly examining the acceptance of innovations and user behavior from a socio-empirical point of view. Differences between France and Germany also play a role here.
In addition to the development of technological innovations, the successful realization of the energy transition and the diffusion of sustainable technologies also hinge on the public’s acceptance. Acceptance on both the broad socio-political level and the local level is crucial for the expansion of decentralized renewable energies, such as solar and wind. Moreover, many technological innovations have not only to be accepted, but also to be actively adopted by individual users in order to unfold their technological potential. Examples of this include purchasing private photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles or participating in smart charging concepts or demand response programs.
The Energy and Behavior Group at DFIU investigates the acceptance and adoption of innovations in the context of the energy transition, as well as other topics related to sustainability transformations, from a social and behavioral perspective. Using empirical social research theories and methods, the group primarily researches the individual drivers and barriers affecting acceptance and adoption. Among other things, their research includes experimental methods (randomized controlled trials), correlational panel studies, and field studies.
Along with research projects focused on social science issues, the research group also acts as an interdisciplinary point of contact for supporting other acceptance research projects at DFIU.