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Title: Understanding the adoption of solar power technologies in the UK domestic sector
Author: Faiers, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 9221
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2009
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The aim of this thesis was to provide new insights into the adoption of solar power technologies. Policy has identified solar technologies capable of providing domestic carbon reductions but limitations such as high capital costs and poor productivity are preventing widespread adoption. The research problem was that neither the attitudes of householders to the technology, nor their adoption decision processes had previously been investigated. If these could be understood, policy interventions might be more effective. This research presents previously unseen adoption curves for solar power systems, which by volume are less significant than conventional energy efficiency technologies, but the ‘S’ curve shows a rate of adoption similar to insulation and boiler systems. In addition, this research presents a comprehensive set of constructs that householders use as heuristics in their decision making process. These constructs were used in a survey of householders that showed both innovative and pragmatic tendencies in order to gain insight to their attitudes towards the systems. The results of this survey highlighted that adopters are mostly positive to solar power systems, especially the environmental aspects. However, on aesthetic, operational and financial issues, the responses indicated less positive attitudes by the ‘pragmatic’ majority. The survey confirmed the presence of a previously theorised ‘chasm’ that demonstrated significant differences between earlier and later adopters. This highlighted seven aspects of the technology that developers should consider, and also a difference in the decision making process followed by the two sets of adopters. Policy insights are discussed in relation to this.
Supervisor: Neame, Charles ; Cook, Matthew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available