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The technology of the middle class: Understanding the fulfilment of adoption intentions in Queensland's rapid uptake residential solar photovoltaics market

Bondio, S., Shahnazari, M. and McHugh, A. (2018) The technology of the middle class: Understanding the fulfilment of adoption intentions in Queensland's rapid uptake residential solar photovoltaics market. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 93 . pp. 642-651.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2018.05.035
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Abstract

Residential solar photovoltaics (PV), a once niche technology reliant on direct regulatory support to stimulate its adoption, has progressively become more competitive because of economies of learning and scale in production. Given its extraordinary market growth, a better understanding of the various market and social factors affecting residential consumers’ PV purchasing decisions is required for policy makers to create efficient support mechanisms, by industry participants to better target marketing activities, and for more informed planning of centralised electricity generation and network infrastructure development. This paper reports on an analysis of the behavioural drivers of households as decision-making units fulfilling an intention to adopt PV. Drawing upon Rogers’ diffusion of innovation theory and using a logistic regression choice model, the actual outcomes of the residential PV market are examined in the state of Queensland, Australia. A recent survey of more than 8000 households is used to investigate the difference in demographic and motivational factors among households with the stated intention to purchase PV with those that have already adopted the technology. Our findings suggest that PV is the technology of the middle class. This reasoning is made based on surveyees’ stated concerns over rising electricity bills and survey data which indicates that economic life events have a significant influence over perceptions of affordability. Households need to be concerned with rising electricity bills to be motivated to adopt PV, but must also have access to sufficient capital to afford its upfront cost. Familiarity with the technology appeared to reduce adoption motivations based on self-sufficiency and intentions to go off grid.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/41136
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