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A Model For Residential Adoption of Photovoltaic Systems


Agarwal, Anish (2015) A Model For Residential Adoption of Photovoltaic Systems. Master's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9RB72J4.


The rapid rise in the residential photo voltaic (PV) adoptions in the past half decade has created a need in the electricity industry for a widely-accessible model that estimates PV adoption based on a combination of different business and policy decisions. This work analyzes historical adoption patterns and finds fiscal savings to be the single most important factor in PV adoption, with significantly greater predictive power compared to all other socioeconomic factors including income and education. We can create an application available on Google App Engine (GAE) based on our findings that allows all stakeholders including policymakers, power system researchers and regulators to study the complex and coupled relationship between PV adoption, utility economics and grid sustainability. The application allows users to experiment with different customer demographics, tier structures and subsidies, hence allowing them to tailor the application to the geographic region they are studying. This study then demonstrates the different type of analyses possible with the application by studying the relative impact of different policies regarding tier structures, fixed charges and PV prices on PV adoption.

Item Type:Thesis (Master's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Photovoltaic Adoption, Utility Death Spiral
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Computer Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Chandy, K. Mani
Thesis Committee:
  • None, None
Defense Date:15 December 2014
Non-Caltech Author Email:anishagarwal (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03202015-082016718
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8796
Deposited By: Anish Agarwal
Deposited On:26 Mar 2015 21:52
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:07

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