Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

2-1-2015

Degree Program

Resource Economics

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

February

Advisor Name

Christine

Advisor Middle Initial

L

Advisor Last Name

Crago

Co-advisor Name

Daniel

Co-advisor Middle Initial

A

Co-advisor Last Name

Lass

Abstract

State policy incentives for solar power have grown significantly in the past several years. This paper examines the effectiveness of policy incentives to increase residential solar PV capacity. County-level solar adoption data and controls for demographic characteristics, solar resources, and pro-environmental preferences are used to estimate a model of residential solar adoption. Empirical findings show that financial incentives, solar-specific mandates, and loan financing programs are important drivers of residential PV capacity growth. Incentives that reduce the up-front cost of adoption and that are subject to low uncertainty are found to have the largest impact. Results also point to a significant positive relationship between hybrid vehicle sales and residential PV capacity growth, indicating the importance of pro-environmental preference as a predictor of solar PV demand.

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