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Investigating the importance of motivations and barriers related to microgeneration uptake in the UK

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  • Balcombe, Paul
  • Rigby, Dan
  • Azapagic, Adisa

Abstract

Microgeneration technologies such as solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind and heat pumps may be able to contribute to meeting UK climate change and energy security targets, but their contribution to UK domestic energy supply remains low. This research uses a best-worst scaling survey of microgeneration adopters, considerers and rejecters (n=291) to determine the relative importance of different motivations and barriers in microgeneration (non) adoption decisions. The most important motivations are earning money from installation, increasing household energy independence and protecting against future high energy costs. Results indicate that the introduction of Feed-in Tariffs has clearly encouraged a new, more financially-motivated, group to install. Financial factors are the most important barriers and of most importance to rejecters is the prospect of losing money if they moved home. The Green Deal was introduced to reduce this barrier, but may instead exacerbate the problem as potential homebuyers are put off purchasing a home with an attached Green Deal debt. The difficulty in finding trustworthy information on microgeneration is also a major obstacle to adoption, particularly for considerers, despite efforts by the government and microgeneration interest groups to reduce this barrier. Self-sufficiency in energy is a more important motivation for those considering or having rejected installation than for adopters. Provision of accessible information and greater emphasis on household self-sufficiency in energy could help improve the uptake.

Suggested Citation

  • Balcombe, Paul & Rigby, Dan & Azapagic, Adisa, 2014. "Investigating the importance of motivations and barriers related to microgeneration uptake in the UK," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 403-418.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:130:y:2014:i:c:p:403-418
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.05.047
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    References listed on IDEAS

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