Adoption of domestic solar electricity systems in Western Australia: community reaction to economic signals or empowered contribution to energy sector transition? (14349)
The government subsidisation of small-scale renewable energy systems in Australia can be seen as a method for promoting democratic participation in a just transition from fossil-fuel based electricity towards low-carbon forms of energy generation. Government subsidies for small-scale renewable energy systems are equally available to all members of society and reflect national priorities for increasing renewable energy, reducing energy costs and promotion of a ‘green labour’ workforce. Recent years have seen a growing number of households across Australia engage with small-scale renewable energy, with approximately 1.2 million domestic solar electricity systems installed since 2001. Installation of small-scale renewable energy systems has dual individualised benefits for households via a reduction in their own carbon emissions and in their exposure to increasing electricity tariffs.
The presentation will assess the characteristics of solar electricity system installers in Western Australia, presenting the results of a survey investigating the extent to which households are influenced by the availability of grants and rebates, and ultimately whether environmental or economic interests play the greatest role in contributing to installation decisions. The extent to which community interactions (recommendations, siting of other solar systems) may influence adoption rates is also investigated in the research. Conclusions will be drawn regarding ways in which variations in community interactions may result in different satisfaction levels and the ability to foster on-going support for small-scale renewable energy systems and other emissions-reduction technologies.The empirical research includes examination of metropolitan and regional study sites to determine the relative similarities and differences between motivating factors and measures of satisfaction with systems. Additional research is used to assess the extent to which regional respondents consider renewable energy to be a key priority for regional development.