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 installing rooftop solar, according to the study’s authors, can indirectly promote renewable energy just by making it more visible to people.
By EMILIANO BELLINI for PV Magazine
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: homeowners become more open to installing a solar array, if they see other neighbors deploying them, particularly if their number is concentrated within a relatively small area.
The authors of the study interviewed 2,065 people across Canada to test their willingness to go solar, and 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, due to the high upfront costs for buying and installing a solar power generator.