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The heterogeneous preferences for solar energy policies among US households

Yan Heng, Chao-Lin Lu, Luqing Yu and Zhifeng Gao ()

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 137, issue C

Abstract: Solar energy provides several significant advantages, such as reduced CO2 emissions, more energy supply diversification and regional/national energy independence. Due to the reduced installation cost and the rapid advances in solar energy technology, the installed capacity of solar power has been increasing over time in the United States. Nevertheless, solar energy capacity and policies differ significantly across the US states. Determining the preferences for solar energy policies is critical for future solar energy development. In this study, we used stated preference methods to elicit residents' preferences for solar energy and determine the impact of policies on consumers’ support of solar energy. Results show that US residents have a heterogeneous preferences for different types of solar energy policies. In general, financial support is more effective in promoting solar energy. Compared to most demographics, attitude toward climate change, barriers, and motives for solar energy adoption has a greater impact on preferences for solar energy policies. Moreover, our results confirm the necessity of government subsidies to promote solar energy. The findings could help facilitate the development of solar policy instruments that more effectively encourage the adoption of solar and other sustainable energies.

Keywords: Solar energy policy; Willingness-to-pay; Attitudes toward solar energy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q48 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.111187

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