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Installer Businesses and Renewable Energy Uptake in Homes.

Hanna, Richard Francis. (2014) Installer Businesses and Renewable Energy Uptake in Homes. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This PhD thesis compares the effectiveness with which different installer businesses are able to fit small-scale renewable energy in UK homes. It looks particularly at how installer businesses can affect the rate and standards of uptake of these technologies. 388 installer businesses were surveyed in 2011 and 2012. From summer to autumn 2012, follow-up interviews were conducted with 24 installers, most of whom completed the main survey in late 2011. In late 2012, the main survey respondents were invited to complete a repeat survey to assess market change over the past 12 months. The results indicate an emerging and volatile market where solar PV, solar hot water and air source heat pumps are the dominant technologies. Most installers are very small: around half have five employees or less, or are no more than four years old. Installer business models can be characterized according to the different ways in which they create value (e. g. technology types installed), who they create value for (e.g. national versus local markets, marketing strategies), and their source of business competence (e. g. preferred training courses and manufacturers). Overall the results show the fundamental dependence of installer business models on government subsidies and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. But they also continue to be affected by persisting barriers to the uptake of microgeneration heat technologies especially. Market confidence has been hit by the sharp reduction in Feed-ln Tariffs for solar PV and ongoing delays to the Renewable Heat Incentive for residential installations. Installers also attributed low installation numbers to negative press coverage about renewable energy. The interviews have shed light on a training and inspection regime which is barely adequate in ensuring installation standards. Applying socio-technical transitions theory, it is concluded that multiple niches co-exist in the residential microgeneration market, and that while the solar PV niche has expanded and contracted in response to changes in the Feed-ln Tariff, financial and non-financial barriers to microgeneration heat technologies persist and restrict them to early niche markets. The political regime actors who determine the energy mix in the UK remain entrenched in supporting the continuing prevalence of incumbent fossil-fuel based, centralized energy generation. If these regime actors were to perceive or respond to climate change as a disruptive landscape pressure, there would be an increased prospect of one or more of these microgeneration niches causing re-alignment of the dominant energy regime.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Hanna, Richard Francis.
Date : 2014
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2014.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 24 Apr 2020 15:26
Last Modified : 24 Apr 2020 15:26
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/855296

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