Designing Policies for Equitable Adoption of Rooftop Solar PV

74 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2023

See all articles by Aarthi Sundaram

Aarthi Sundaram

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

Juliana Goncalves

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

Amineh Ghorbani

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

Trivik Verma

Delft University of Technology

Date Written: March 28, 2023

Abstract

Governments often use price-based policies such as tax-subsidies and rebates to encourage households to shift to renewable energy sources like rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV). These policies, however, have primarily benefited high-income homeowners, leaving others behind. This paper proposes leveraging social networks' influence on attitudes and perceptions to design more equitable solar PV adoption programs. Using data from Albany, New York, we develop an Agent-based model, integrating a novel implementation of circles of influence into the theory of planned behavior. We test two policy categories (generic and targeted) under two network scenarios (integrated and segregated). Resulting solar PV adoption rates are evaluated using egalitarian, utilitarian and cost metrics to analyze policy impact on different income groups. We find that flat tax-credit policies can result in poor adoption rates in segregated networks, and seeding policies and information through influential network members may not necessarily improve adoption rates. The study underscores the importance of trusted information sources in influencing adoption decisions. The insights gained from this research can guide policy design for tailored interventions to improve access to renewable energy for all income groups.

Keywords: energy transition, agent-based modelling, justice, social influence, just transition

Suggested Citation

Sundaram, Aarthi and Goncalves, Juliana and Ghorbani, Amineh and Verma, Trivik, Designing Policies for Equitable Adoption of Rooftop Solar PV (March 28, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4403544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4403544

Aarthi Sundaram (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management ( email )

Jaffalaan 5
Delft, South Holland 2628 BX
Netherlands

Juliana Goncalves

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment ( email )

Netherlands

Amineh Ghorbani

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

Trivik Verma

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

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