What interests do intermediaries prioritize during wind- and solar project development?
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
A transition towards a low-carbon energy system requires the large-scale diffusion of renewable electricity (RE) technologies. Intermediary actors, such as installers, project developers or consultants, can facilitate this process by supporting RE adopters. Recent studies have also pointed out that there are potential drawbacks associated with intermediary support. Acting as filters and gatekeepers, intermediaries have the complex mission to prioritize between various stakeholder interests, including their own profit maximization. The aim of this research is to understand what stakeholder interests intermediaries prioritize when developing RE projects. Results of a choice experiment with third-party developers in Sweden highlight differences between technologies: wind developers prioritize electricity output, while solar developers prioritize client satisfaction. Despite being for-profit organizations, intermediaries did not prioritize their own interests over the interests of their clients. Solar PV developers prioritize client satisfaction over maximization of electricity output, which may have negative implications for the efficiency of the projects.