The researchers studied clusters of solar installations throughout California from January 2001 to December 2011 and found that residents of a particular zip code are more likely to install solar panels if they already exist in that zip code and on their street.
"We looked at the influence that the number of cumulative adoptions—the number of people who already installed solar panels in a zip code—had on the probability there would be a new adoption in that zip code," said Kenneth Gillingham, the study's co-author and assistant professor of economics at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "Our approach controls for a variety of other possible explanations, including clustering of environmental preferences or marketing activity."
They calculated that 10 extra installations in a zip code increase the probability of an adoption by 7.8 percent. If there is a 10 percent increase in the total number of people with solar panels in a zip code—the "installed base"—there will be a 54 percent increase in the adoption of solar panels.
"These results provide clear evidence of a statistically and economically significant effect," said Bryan Bollinger, the other co-author and assistant professor of marketing at New York University Stern School of Business.
The study also shows that the visibility of the panels and word-of-mouth led to larger installations. "If my neighbor installs a solar panel and tells me he's saving money and he's really excited about it, it's likely I'll go ahead and do the same thing," said Gillingham. "Then there are others who'll install because they don't want to be one-upped by their neighbors."
The researchers found that white males between the ages of 45 and 65 who have a 30-minute commute and home repairs were associated with higher adoption rates. Gillingham suggested that a disproportionate number of engineers working in Silicon Valley may explain the result. In addition, larger households and people with longer commutes were more exposed to solar installations, thus more likely to adopt the technology, compared to people who carpooled and lived in smaller households.
"These findings have clear implications for marketers who are striving to reduce the high cost of consumer acquisition in the solar photovoltaic market," said Bollinger.
In January 2006 the California Public Utilities Commission established the California Solar Initiative, a $3.3 billion, 10-year rebate program encouraging the installation of 3,000 megawatts of solar infrastructure over the ensuing decade. These subsidies, according to the authors, have increased the number of solar installations to 17,000 in 2010 from fewer than 1,000 in 2001. The authors used the 85,046 requested residential installations during that time in their calculations.
"Our finding of an increasing effect of new installations in a zip code suggests that targeting marketing efforts in areas that already have some installations is a promising strategy," said Gillingham.
The paper, "Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar Photovoltaic Panels," is available at http://mktsci.journal.informs.org/content/early/2012/09/20/mksc.1120.0727.abstract.
David DeFusco | EurekAlert!
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering
17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy