Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Preferences for Renewable Home Heating: A Choice Experiment Study of Heat Pump System in Ireland
    Renewable sources of home heating like heat pump systems are expected to play a vital role in mitigating the adverse effects of carbon-intensive heating systems. Compared to conventional heating systems, heat pump systems are more energy efficient, have low maintenance and operational costs and provide reliable and environmentally friendly home heating. Despite those advantages, the uptake of heat pumps has been low among the Irish population and little is known about the factors that affect their adoption. This paper uses a discrete choice experiment approach to investigate preferences for heat pumps in the residential sector based on nationally representative household survey data from Ireland. We analyse the choice data using a mixed logit model and estimate the marginal willingness to pay for bill savings, environmentally sustainable, installation hassles and increase in home comfort using both models in preferences space and in willingness to pay (WTP) space. Our results show that upfront cost, bill savings, environmental sustainability and installation hassle significantly influence household uptake of heat pumps. The estimated results also reveal the presence of heterogeneous preferences. Furthermore, the results show that households are willing to pay for heat pumps; however, the values might not be large enough to cover the higher upfront costs of, for example, a ground source heat pump. Overall, the study highlights that policy makers should consider the various financial and non-financial factors that influence adoption and heterogeneity in preferences in designing policy intervention aimed at increasing the uptake of heat pumps.
  • Publication
    Attitudes to Renewable Energy Technologies: Driving Change in Early Adopter Markets
    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.
  • Publication
    Adoption of Renewable Home Heating Systems: An Agent-Based Model of Heat Pump Systems in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2020-12) ;
    Concern about climate change and dependence on fossil fuels is inducing countries to develop and deploy renewable energy technologies. Heat pump systems, which extract heat either from the air, water, or ground sources, are among the viable options for space heating and domestic hot water production in the residential sector. In this paper, we develop an agent-based model to analyze the adoption process of heat pump systems and the underlying diffusion factors. Uniquely, we use a recent nationally representative Irish household survey data to derive parameters for decision rules for technology adoption in the model. In this research, we explore how financial aspects, psychological factors and social networks influence the adoption and diffusion of heat pump systems. We also discuss how individual household socio-demographic characteristics, building characteristics, geographical location of household and policy incentives affect the adoption process. The research should be of interest to policymakers, as we use the model to test the impact of various policies on technology adoption rates.
  • Publication
    COVID-19 and EU Climate Targets: Going Further with Less?
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2020-05) ; ;
    The COVID-19 crisis comes at a complex moment for European climate policy as it pivots from a 40% 2030 emissions reduction target to a European Green Deal that is in better alignment with long-term Paris Agreement goals. Here, the implications of the dramatic fall in economic output associated with the crisis are examined using a representative range of growth scenarios. With lower economic activity resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, existing policy measures could achieve the 40% target sooner than 2030. However, we find that even in the most severe economic scenario examined, this falls well short of the 50-55% emissions reduction target under the Green Deal. Maintaining the existing 40% target in 2030 with reduced policy measures on the other hand would move European climate policy away from the required path. This analysis indicates the feasibility of increased climate ambition in the wake of the pandemic and supports the Green Deal 50-55% targets in 2030.