Energy Technology Adoption: Case of Solar Photovoltaic in the Pacific Northwest USA

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Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments

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Current political, economic, and environmental issues have made energy source selection a delicate decision. These pressures concurrent with the decrease in sustainable energy costs have increased the interest in cleaner alternative energies such as solar and wind in order to mitigate the environmental consequences. Among these energies, solar photovoltaic (PV) energy is one of the most promising sources of power with the potential of providing one fifth of the annual energy in US alone. The purpose of this study is to analyze the associations and correlations of income, education, and solar adoption through surveys and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) respectively. Results from GIS analysis and linear regression show correlations between education, income levels, and the number of solar PV adopters in Oregon census tracts. By identifying adoption hotspots, this study recommends four areas in Oregon State which are ideal for energy companies to promote, educate, and incentivize Solarize programs in order to bolster the adoption and diffusion of solar PVs. The selected areas have high income and education levels but the number of solar adoptions are not significant which makes them good candidates for more analysis and potentially incentives and education programs.


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