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Will imitators follow pioneer consumers in the adoption of solar thermal systems? Empirical evidence for North-West Germany

Author

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  • Julia Sophie Wörsdorfer
  • Wolfhard Kaus

    ()

Abstract

In Germany, solar thermal systems (STS) have only diffused to a minor extent yet. This paper analyzes, which demand side factors are decisive for the further proliferation of this environmentally benign technology. Making use of a consumer survey in North-West Germany in 2007, we examine the following parameters: positive environmental attitude, knowledge of the applicability of STS to satisfy consumer needs, and the presence of STS among peer consumers. Drawing upon theoretical foundations from innovation economics and evolutionary consumer theory, we posit that these variables play a different role at distinct stages of the product's diffusion process. Among nonowners, concrete plans to purchase a system within the subsequent two years are distinguished from the general interest to invest into this technology within the next five years. Probitmodels are estimated to test our hypotheses. Our results do not indicate a strong take-off of product diffusion within the next years. By generating interest for the product, knowledge and environmental attitude as well as household income are important determinants of prospective adoptions on the part of the potential imitators. However, only the behavior of peers appears to act as a trigger to the diffusion of this technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Sophie Wörsdorfer & Wolfhard Kaus, 2010. "Will imitators follow pioneer consumers in the adoption of solar thermal systems? Empirical evidence for North-West Germany," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-13, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2010-13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Cordes, 2004. "The Human Adaptation for Culture and its Behavioral Implications," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 143-163, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ali Douai & Nathalie Lazaric & Cécile Ayerbe & Jin Jun, 2014. "Role of Users in the Developing Eco-Innovation: Comparative case research in China and France," Post-Print hal-00934416, HAL.
    2. Woersdorfer, Julia Sophie & Kaus, Wolfhard, 2011. "Will nonowners follow pioneer consumers in the adoption of solar thermal systems? Empirical evidence for northwestern Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2282-2291.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    innovation diffusion; solar thermal systems; consumer motivations; consumer knowledge Length 20 pages;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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