Title page for ETD etd-05192012-174159

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Adams, Siân Louise
URN etd-05192012-174159
Document Title South African consumer attitudes towards domestic solar power systems
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
none Supervisor
  • diffusion of innovation
  • solar power
  • consumer perceptions
Date 2012-03-08
Availability unrestricted
The success of the South African policy to reduce carbon emissions and incorporate solar energy production into the national energy mix is partly dependent on the ability to persuade householders to become more energy efficient, and to encourage installation of domestic solar systems. Solar power is an innovation in South Africa and the current policy of stimulating the market with subsidies for solar water heaters is not resulting in widespread adoption. The high upfront costs have been a barrier in the past but as more suppliers offer financing options, there has been a gradual increase in purchasing but not at the rate required to save the 578 MW of electricity over the next few years.

This research report takes the form of a survey of two consumer groups (“early adopters” and “early majority” adopters in South Africa, with the aim of:

• Investigating consumer attitudes towards characteristics of solar systems,

• Utilising the diffusion of Innovations theory to understand the attributes which affect the consumer decision making process, and

• Isolating the characteristics that are preventing a pragmatic “early majority” from adopting the technology.

The results show that overall, while the “early majority” demonstrate a positive perception of the environmental characteristics of solar power, its financial, operational and aesthetic characteristics are limiting adoption. Differences existing between the two groups show support for the concept of the ‘chasm’ between adopter categories identified by Moore. The study concludes that if consumers cannot identify the relative advantage of solar power over their current source of power supplied readily and cheaply through the national grid, it is unlikely that wide-scale adoption will follow.

Copyright © 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Adams, SL, 2011, South African consumer attitudes towards domestic solar power systems, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05192012-174159/ >


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