Serious Games in Breaking Informational Barriers in Solar Energy

28 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2016

See all articles by Varun Rai

Varun Rai

University of Texas at Austin - LBJ School of Public Affairs

Ariane Beck

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Date Written: June 20, 2016

Abstract

The adoption of solar energy – widely assumed to be pivotal to a new energy transformation – has been hindered by persistent information gaps. Recent literature states the importance of using behavioral science to address the persistent gaps between the technical potential of low carbon technologies and the actual adoption of these technologies. With the goal of addressing this important knowledge gap, this study investigates the efficacy of serious games – games with a primary purpose other than entertainment – to overcome informational and perceptive barriers to broader adoption of solar PV in the residential sector. Using a trivia-style game platform, we assess the impact of serious games on intentions and behavior toward solar energy in residential energy customers, applying the Theory of Planned Behavior (attitudes, norms, and perceived behavioral control). Our findings indicate that serious games are effective in bridging the information gap and enabling participants to feel agency, thus could prove an effective intervention strategy applied at large scale.

Keywords: Solar PV, Information Gap, Theory of Planned Behavior, Serious Games, Gamification, Randomized Control Trial

JEL Classification: C81, C83, C93, D12, D81, D83, M30, Q20, Q42

Suggested Citation

Rai, Varun and Beck, Ariane, Serious Games in Breaking Informational Barriers in Solar Energy (June 20, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2816852 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2816852

Varun Rai (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - LBJ School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

Ariane Beck

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

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