“Predicting intention to adopt solar technology in Canada: The role of knowledge, public engagement, and visibility”, written by John Parkins, Curtis Rollins, Sven Anders and Louise Comeau
Solar power (i.e., solar photovoltaic) accounts for about 0.3% of total electricity production in Canada. To enhance this contribution to energy supply from solar power, financial incentives and technological breakthroughs alone may not guarantee change. Drawing on a national survey of 2065 Canadian residents, we identify the determinants of technology adoption intention with the exemplary case of rooftop solar. Using a combination of latent and observed variables within a non-linear structural equation model, our analysis quantifies how a set of individual and community level factors affect adoption intention. Analysis reveals that the visibility of solar technology has a particularly strong effect on intention, lending support to social learning and social network theories of diffusion of innovation. Our findings also show that the perceived knowledge of energy systems and being publicly engaged in energy issues significantly increases adoption intention. These conclusions encourage policy options that enhance public engagement and the visibility of solar technology within neighborhoods and communities.