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Influence of demographic variables on uptake of domestic solar photovoltaic technology

Jeff Sommerfeld, Laurie Buys, Kerrie Mengersen and Desley Vine

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017, vol. 67, issue C, 315-323

Abstract: In Australia during the past decade there has been a significant transformation of the electricity demand and supply sector. In five years from 2008 to 2013 the number of Australians installing solar photovoltaic (PV) technology grew from 8000 to more than one million. Governments in Australia used a range of policy incentives such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) to encourage the uptake of solar PV and this had a range of consequences. Solar PV technology has transformed the residential consumer electricity market providing some consumers with greater choice in demand and supply of their power. This study contributes to the growing understanding of the role that demographic factors play in household uptake of solar PV technology. Based on a review of relevant literature and a multi-phased statistical analysis of more than 2 million people in south-east Queensland over five years, the paper highlights the complex interplay between socio-economics and household uptake. The paper identifies key demographic variables and quantifies their relative influence, and provides new insights into the role of age in solar PV uptake. This more nuanced explanation of the socio-economic variables influencing solar PV uptake offers an opportunity to more effectively and efficiently shape future policies and incentives.

Keywords: Domestic consumers; Consumer change; Solar photovoltaic (PV); Demographic variables; Feed-in tariff (FiT); Classification and regression tree (CART); Boosted regression tree (BRT) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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