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Solar Community Organizations and active peer effects in the adoption of residential PV

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  • Noll, Daniel
  • Dawes, Colleen
  • Rai, Varun

Abstract

Solar Community Organizations (SCOs) are formal or informal organizations and citizen groups that help to reduce the barriers to the adoption of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) by (1) providing access to credible and transparent information about the localized benefits of residential PV and (2) actively campaigning to encourage adoption within their operational boundaries. We study the peer effect, or social interaction, process catalyzed by SCOs to understand the impact of these organizations on the residential PV market. Using a standardized search methodology across spatial scales (state; city; neighborhoods), we identify and characterize the operations of 228 SCOs formed in the U.S. between 1970 and 2012. We also present case studies of four successful SCOs and find that a common thread of why these SCOs are successful involves effectively leveraging trusted community networks combined with putting together a complete information and financial-tools package for use by interested communities. Finally, our findings suggest that empirical studies that attempt statistical identification and estimation of peer effects should pay close attention to the role of SCOs, as the social interactions engendered by SCOs may be correlated both with the level of social learning and the socio-demographic characteristics of the communities of interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Noll, Daniel & Dawes, Colleen & Rai, Varun, 2014. "Solar Community Organizations and active peer effects in the adoption of residential PV," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 330-343.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:330-343
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.12.050
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    Cited by:

    1. Yamamoto, Yoshihiro, 2015. "Opinion leadership and willingness to pay for residential photovoltaic systems," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 185-192.
    2. Rode, Johannes & Weber, Alexander, 2016. "Does localized imitation drive technology adoption? A case study on rooftop photovoltaic systems in Germany," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 38-48.
    3. Crago, Christine Lasco & Chernyakhovskiy, Ilya, 2017. "Are policy incentives for solar power effective? Evidence from residential installations in the Northeast," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 132-151.
    4. Shakouri, Mahmoud & Lee, Hyun Woo & Kim, Yong-Woo, 2017. "A probabilistic portfolio-based model for financial valuation of community solar," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 709-726.
    5. Bauner, Christoph & Crago, Christine L., 2015. "Adoption of residential solar power under uncertainty: Implications for renewable energy incentives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 27-35.
    6. repec:eee:juipol:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:22-32 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Johannes Rode & Sven Müller, 2016. "Spatio-temporal variation in peer effects - The case of rooftop photovoltaic systems in Germany," ERSA conference papers ersa16p579, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Neij, Lena & Heiskanen, Eva & Strupeit, Lars, 2017. "The deployment of new energy technologies and the need for local learning," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 274-283.
    9. Klein, Sharon J.W. & Coffey, Stephanie, 2016. "Building a sustainable energy future, one community at a time," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 867-880.
    10. Li, Hui & Yi, Hongtao, 2014. "Multilevel governance and deployment of solar PV panels in U.S. cities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 19-27.
    11. Dong, Changgui & Sigrin, Benjamin & Brinkman, Gregory, 2017. "Forecasting residential solar photovoltaic deployment in California," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 251-265.
    12. Simpson, Genevieve & Clifton, Julian, 2016. "Subsidies for residential solar photovoltaic energy systems in Western Australia: Distributional, procedural and outcome justice," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 262-273.
    13. Balta-Ozkan, Nazmiye & Watson, Tom & Mocca, Elisabetta, 2015. "Spatially uneven development and low carbon transitions: Insights from urban and regional planning," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 500-510.

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