Understanding the solar energy consumer
As of 2020, India’s total active solar energy capacity stood at 39 GW. With Solar energy as one of the leading RE source, India has set up a target of having active solar installations of 100GW by 2022. Giga-scale solar manufacturing and the continuous adoption of innovations to reduce prices have been identified as the key drivers for increasing solar deployment. Moreover, Solar PV manufacturing has been identified as one of the strategic sectors, announced by the Indian government, for the post-COVID Aatmanirbhar Bharat recovery initiative.
But this is the story from the manufacturer’s standpoint; what drives the change in the consumer behavior towards transitioning to solar energy? What all factors does a potential solar consumer takes into his/her calculation to finally convert to a solar consumer? We will try to answer these questions by taking a deeper look at the fundamental consumer behavior drivers towards opting for Solar PV systems.
Researchers have suggested that social influence, environmental knowledge and customer attitude generate green purchase intentions among customers. They have attributed the intention to go for PV (Solar Energy) Systems to be influenced by six factors:
Social Influence: Because behavior has always largely been molded by the social clusters a person belongs to. Peer interaction has played a significant role in the adoption of PV systems. In simpler words, when we see our neighbors, family, friends going for PV systems at their homes, we become the curious cat and bombard them with plethora of questions. This curiosity tagged along with other factors, which we will be describing in the section, creates in us the enthusiasm to do the same!
Environmental Knowledge: Knowledge and awareness about solar PV system is related with customer attitude and behavior towards ecological issues. Knowledge about ecologically responsible household technologies and practices might be a consistent factor in understanding solar PV system as an alternative to traditional sources of power. Going forward with our case, now that we know how and why our neighbors opted for PV systems at their homes, we start experiencing the yearning to do the same.
Environmental Attitude: Studies have inferred that the consumer attitude towards acceptance of different energy sources is developing. The sensibilities towards the environment have finally started emerging in the consumers and environmental concerns are the triggers. Also, the selfless efforts of environmental activists like Saalumarada Thimmakka, Tulsi Gowda, Jadav Payeng and many others have changed the consumer’s attitude towards Renewable energy with solar being the most feasible for domestic application.
Environmental Responsibility: An individual’s sense of responsibility towards the ecology has also emerged as a leading driver of inculcating the need to adopt PV systems as a step towards acting in the interest of his/her environment. When the climate change effects our daily life, that is when this factor kicks in. Sweating to the increasing temperatures in summers, here in India, news about people dying from heatstroke makes us worry about our own loved ones falling prey to these climate change effects. This is when we start taking up the responsibility to undo these changes at our scale.
Environmental Awareness: Nowadays consumers are more severe about environmental problems, and require more information for the practical solutions of environmental problems. People have finally come to recognize the values associated with protecting the environment, which has subsequently translated into behaviors for reducing such harm in the future i.e., adopting green products. Youth nowadays are more woke than the preceding generations (Take Greta Thunberg, for example, a 16 years-old climate activist) and are more proactive in taking up environmental causes, this could be attributed to the fact they have been more exposed to the harmful effects of climate changes both as a victim and a bystander and thus, are more aware of the perils of continuing on the traditional path.
Government Initiatives: The government initiative on providing monitoring policy, support in funding, subsidies and other promotional activities plays a crucial role in generating an intention to adopt solar PV system. Want to install Solar Rooftop PV systems, but the high costs worry you? Simply apply for CFAs (Central Financial Assistances) at your local power Discoms. It won’t be going too far to say that government policies can appeal to the consumers by conveying the message about the sense of responsibility in the customers to adopt greener energy, that could establish and reinforce social norms that favor the use of green energy.
Of course, we cannot claim that these are the sole factors that drive the intent to adopt and neither that these factors always influence in the manner stated but yes, they have a majority stake in, what we say, pushing the consumer to make the right decision i.e., making credible move towards going environment-friendly. One major barrier to Solar PV system adoption is that sourcing the equipment seems a very tedious task. This is where SolarMarts has pitched in to overcome the barrier. A one stop solution to all our sourcing, installation and even informational woes! And as we know innovative products are the way forward to achieving the target of 300GW by 2030, why not visit SolarMarts e-platform and look for these innovative products ourselves. Go from traditional power to solar power and be the right type of social influencer that the society actually needs!
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