Adopters’ perceptions of solar PV business models

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Bibliographical item details
Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Title: Adopters’ perceptions of solar PV business models
Authors: Johansson, Leonardo
Dahm, Jacob
Abstract: The increasingly severe effects of climate change puts pressure on society to decarbonize the economy, of which the energy sector constitutes an integral sector to transform. In facilitating the introduction of renewable energy technologies (RETs), innovative business models (BMs) have been highlighted as playing an important role - in particular for solar photovoltaics (PV). However, diffusion of solar PV is still dependent on individual adopters deciding to invest in these BMs, and there is a lack of research regarding how adopters perceive the available BMs. In order to accelerate the sustainable transition, we need to acquire a qualitative understanding of how adopters make sense of the solar PV BMs. To this end, the thesis sets out to answer how adopters’ perceive the different BMs for solar PV. Sweden provides a suitable context in which to conduct the study, as a large, heterogeneous group of solar PV adopters have developed since the liberalisation of the energy market. Through semi-structured interviews with residential and commercial adopters, data was collected on the adopters’ perceptions of the different BMs for solar PV. More specifically, the thesis identifies the perceived value and perceived missing value of the respective BMs. The findings show that adopters generally prefer host-owned (HO) BMs compared to third-party-ownership (TPO) BMs - they are perceived as more economical, ensuring control and stability and reducing the complexity of the adoption process of solar PV. Furthermore, the adopters’ perception can be considered to be influenced by a combination of system-level components, the characteristics of the innovation and the characteristics of the adopters - based on these factors, the adopters develop their own internal reasoning for their preference of the BMs. A model is proposed, synthesising the main influencing factors and providing a springboard for further research in this area. The findings of the thesis have significant implications for policy makers. To facilitate wide-spread diffusion of solar PV, policy makers should strive to generate heterogeneity in the solar PV BMs that are being adopted. This can be achieved by acknowledging the derived perceptions of the adopters, and addressing the perceived missing value of the BMs. Moreover, policy makers should take the factors that influence perception into account when designing new policy instruments.
Keywords: solar PV;diffusion of innovation;adopter;business models;sustainable transition;perception
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation
Series/Report no.: E2022:114
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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