Barriers to Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Networks: A Multi-Dimensional PESTLE Analysis

Zheyuan Sun, Sara Tavakoli, Kaveh Khalilpour, Alexey Voinov, Jonathan Paul Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growing adoption of distributed energy production technologies and the potential for energy underutilisation when the energy is produced by non-connected groups has raised interest in developing ‘sharing economy’ concepts in the electricity sector. We suggest that mechanisms, such as peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading, will allow users to exchange their surplus energy for mutual benefits, stimulate the adoption of renewable energy, encourage communities to ‘democratically’ control their own energy supplies for local development, improve energy efficiency, and create many other benefits This approach is receiving increasing attention across the world, particularly in Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. Nevertheless, the actual development and implementation of these platforms are slow and mostly limited to trial activities. This study investigates the challenges and barriers facing P2P energy trading developments based on previous academic and industry studies. We provide a comprehensive multidimensional barrier analysis through a PESTLE approach to assess the barriers from a variety of perspectives, including the political (P), economic (E), social (S), technological (T), legal (L), and environmental (E) aspects. This approach clarifies the many intersecting problem fields for P2P trading in renewable energy, and the paper identifies a list of such barriers and discusses the prospects for addressing these issues. We also elaborate on the importance of incentive-based P2P market design.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • barrier analysis
  • community energy
  • energy sharing
  • free rider effect
  • incentive
  • tragedy of commons


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