Heterogeneity in the adoption of photovoltaic systems in Flanders

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Abstract

We study the determinants of PV adoption in the region of Flanders (Belgium), where PV adoption reached high levels during 2006–2012, because of active government intervention. Based on a unique dataset at a very detailed spatial level, we estimate a Poisson model to explain the heterogeneity in adoption rates. We obtain the following findings. First, local policies have a robust and significant impact on PV adoption. Second, there is a strong unconditional income effect, implying a Matthew effect in the subsidization of PVs. Our third finding is however that this income effect is largely driven by the fact that wealthier households are more likely to adopt because they tend to be higher users, are more frequent house owners, or own houses that are better suited for PV. In several extensions, we consider the determinants of the average size of installed PVs, and the differential impact of certain variables over time.

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De Groote, O., Pepermans, G., & Verboven, F. (2016). Heterogeneity in the adoption of photovoltaic systems in Flanders. Energy Economics, 59, 45–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2016.07.008

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