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Title: Diffusion into new markets: Evolving customer segments in the solar photovoltaics market

The US residential solar market is growing quickly, and as solar adoption diffuses into new populations, later adopters may differ significantly from earlier ones. Using a unique household-level survey dataset including 1234 adopters and 790 non-adopters from San Diego County, California, we explore differences in attitudinal and socio-economic factors for three groups: (i) adopters and non-adopters; (ii) early and more recent adopters; (iii) consumers adopting via buying or leasing. Our results suggest that adopters overall have higher incomes, are more educated, live in larger homes, and expect to stay in their homes for longer than their non-adopting peers. They also differ in their expectations of electricity retail rate changes and the impact solar could have on their home resale value. When examining differences between early and more recent adopters, we find that recent adopters are more representative of general homeowners and more politically moderate. They are also increasingly installing solar to protect against future electricity price increases and to lower electricity costs as opposed to adopting strictly for environmental reasons. Furthermore, more recent adopters differ significantly from earlier adopters in the situations that prompted them to adopt. Lastly, the findings demonstrate how solar markets are evolving, reflecting changes in themore » underlying drivers of consumer adoption as well as innovative solar marketing strategies.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); SunEdison, Denver, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; SM13SB01
Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 8; Related Information: Environmental Research Letters; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S); USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; distributed PV; technology diffusion; customer segmentation; marketing
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1225319; OSTI ID: 1239046