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Changes in inequality for solar panel uptake by Australian homeowners

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  • Best, Rohan
  • Chareunsy, Andrea
  • Taylor, Madeline

Abstract

Evidence is lacking on how inequality in homeowner uptake of solar panels has changed over time. This paper assesses changes in inequality over time using four Australian household surveys from 2012 to 2020. There is evidence of an intuitive transition where average uptake for homeowners with net-wealth just below the median (the fourth and fifth deciles) improved first, with subsequent gains for homeowners in the third net-wealth decile. However, there were still some significant shortfalls by 2020, especially for the first (i.e. lowest) net-wealth decile. In particular, the lowest net-wealth decile had lower uptake by 9.4 percentage points in 2012 and there was a similar gap below the highest decile of 10.6 percentage points in 2019–20. With control variables these corresponding gaps were 8.0 and 8.3 percentage points respectively. Inequality and changes have been less pronounced based on other aspects like education, income, and welfare status. A new policy implication is that Australian support should primarily target the bottom two net-wealth deciles among homeowners. Australia's experience can inform policies for other countries and clean energy technologies. The general implication is that policy approaches should be dynamic and detailed to address inequality changes over time in each context.

Suggested Citation

  • Best, Rohan & Chareunsy, Andrea & Taylor, Madeline, 2023. "Changes in inequality for solar panel uptake by Australian homeowners," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 209(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:209:y:2023:i:c:s0921800923001143
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2023.107851
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    References listed on IDEAS

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