The diffusion of photovoltaics : background, modeling and initial reaction of the agricultural - irrigation sector
Author(s)Lilien, Gary Louis
This paper deals with the background, development and calibration of a model of innovation-diffusion, designed to help allocate government field test and demonstration resources in support of a photovoltaic technology across sectors, regions and over time. The paper reviews current work in the area of diffusion and substitution models, and gives a brief review of current theory in the buyer behavior area. A model is developed, drawing upon concepts in these areas, and its computer implementation is reviewed. The measures needed to calibrate the model are performed in the agricultural-irrigation sector in conjunction with a field installation in Mead, Nebraska. The analysis of those results indicated that - only three to four demonstration projects are needed to eliminate new product risk-perception among farmers; - exposure to a working PV site makes farmers more aware of potential energy savings than does a description of the system; - key factors associated with PV are - newness/expense - complexity of the system and use of untried concepts - independence from traditional fuel sources. - exposure to the site has little effect on preference; - PV is acceptable to a wide range of farmers; - a premium would be paid for the product. Additional model developments and the potential of a model-use to support decision-making for government programs are reviewed.
MIT Energy Laboratory
Photovoltaic power generation., Irrigation farming.
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