A Non-Modeling Exploration of Residential Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Adoption and Non-Adoption

Benjamin Sigrin, Mithra Moezzi, Aaron Ingle, Loren Lutzenhiser

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Although U.S. deployment of residential rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has accelerated in recent years, PV is still installed on less than 1 percent of single-family homes. Most research on household PV adoption focuses on scaling initial markets and modeling predicted growth rather than considering more broadly why adoption occurs. Among the studies that have investigated the characteristics of PV adoption, most collected data from adopters, sometimes with additional non-adopter data, and rarely from people who considered but did not adopt PV. Yet the vast majority of Americans are non-adopters, and they are a diverse group - understanding their ways of evaluating PV adoption is important. Similarly, PV is a unique consumer product, which makes it difficult to apply findings from studies of other technologies to PV. In addition, little research addresses the experience of households after they install PV. This report helps fill some of these gaps in the existing literature. The results inform a more detailed understanding of residential PV adoption, while helping ensure that adoption is sufficiently beneficial to adopters and even non-adopters.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages59
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Worked performed by Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-6A20-67727


  • adopters
  • adoption
  • considerers
  • general population
  • photovoltaic
  • rooftop solar


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