Attitudes to Renewable Energy Technologies: Driving Change in Early Adopter Markets

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Title: Attitudes to Renewable Energy Technologies: Driving Change in Early Adopter Markets
Authors: Mukherjee, SanghamitraMeles, TensayRyan, L. (Lisa B.)Healy, SéinMooney, RobertSharpe, LindsayHayes, Paul
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/11646
Date: Sep-2020
Online since: 2020-10-30T14:58:35Z
Abstract: This paper explores the motivations behind the adoption of key renewable energy technologies in an early adopter market. Notwithstanding their social benefits, uptake of electric vehicles, heat pumps, and solar photovoltaic panels remains low, necessitating targeted measures to address this. We conducted a comprehensive survey of a nationally representative sample of Irish households and analysed this rich dataset using pairwise group comparisons and a factor analysis combined with a logit regression model. We found fundamental differences between adopters and non-adopters. Current adopters tend to be younger, more educated, of higher socio-economic status, and more likely to live in newer buildings of generous size than non-adopters. Environmental attitudes are an insufficient predictor of uptake - whilst non-adopters self-report as being more sustainable, adopters believe that their own decisions impact climate change. Importantly, social processes will be instrumental in future uptake. Word-of-mouth recommendation will matter greatly in communicating the use and benefits of technologies as evident from the significantly larger social networks that current adopters enjoy. Using these insights, policy incentives can be designed according to public preferences.
Funding Details: Irish Research Council
Science Foundation Ireland
metadata.dc.description.othersponsorship: ESB Networks
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Ireland)
Geological Survey of Ireland
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
University College Dublin. School of Economics
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Start page: 1
End page: 29
Series/Report no.: UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series; WP2020/26
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Authors
Keywords: Household surveyTechnology adoptionHeat pumpsSolar PVsElectric vehiclesConsumer behaviour
metadata.dc.subject.classification: D1; D9; O3; Q4
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Energy Institute Research Collection
Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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