A new study from the University of New Brunswick confirms that homeowners are more likely to install a residential PV array if they live in areas with a high concentration of rooftop solar power generators. Investments from public entities installling rooftop solar, according to the study’s authors, can indirectly promote renewable energy just by making it more visible to people.
A new study conducted by environmental sociologist John Parkins, from the University of Alberta, in partnership with fellow researchers from the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences and the University of New Brunswick, has shown once again a well-known principle in the rooftop PV business, that for which homeowners become more amenable to installing a solar array, if they see other neighbors deploying rooftop PV power generators, especially if their number is concentrated within a relatively small area.
The authors of the study have interviewed 2,065 people across Canada to test their willingness to go solar, and have concluded that the sensory environment created by high concentration of PV systems enhances the “desire to do the right thing”, while making a decision that would otherwise be difficult to make, due to the high upfront costs for buying and installing a solar power generator.
“If you are immersed in an environment where these technologies are all around you, they become more familiar and doable,” said the research team, while also recommending public entities to deploy themselves a large number of installations, which would result in an indirect promotion of renewable energies. “They can promote renewable energy by making it more visible to people,” the researchers further explained.
The survey also revealed that general levels of civic engagement between the interviewed people played a significant role. “An engaged citizen is more confident and willing to adopt renewable energy technology,” they concluded.
Source PV Magazine