Impacts of non-residential solar on residential adoption decisions

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Journal Article

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Household decisions to adopt rooftop solar photovoltaics are partly driven by social influence. Previous research on solar adoption influence has focused on influence among residential peers. Here, we expand the framework of solar adoption influence by exploring the influence of non-residential installations on residential adoption decisions. We use staggered differences-in-differences to estimate non-residential influence effects using a large data sample of residential adoptions. We also critically evaluate prevailing frameworks for solar adoption influence. We find that non-residential installations are associated with accelerated residential adoption rates, on the order of 0.4 additional residential adoptions per quarter per non-residential installation. We show that non-residential systems exert a continuous, long-term influence on residential adoption decisions. We explore separate results and influence mechanisms for solar installed on commercial buildings, government buildings, and houses of worship. The results suggest that non-residential solar adopters could serve as partners in policies to “seed” residential adoption in underserved communities.


Frontiers in Sustainable Energy Policy



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An open-access version of this article published in Frontiers in Sustainable Energy Policy can be downloaded here

A brief overview of this study can be viewed here. A webinar discussing this research was recorded on February 7, 2024 and can be viewed here


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