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Renewable energy adoption in an ageing population: Heterogeneity in preferences for micro-generation technology adoption

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Energy Policy, Volume 39, Number 10, p.6021-6029 (2011)



Many countries are endeavouring to supply more of their energy from renewable resources. Such countries are also experiencing an aging population with a greater proportion of people aged ?65 years. This demographic shift may reduce the uptake of renewable energy, if older person households are less inclined to accept change and adopt new technologies. This paper assesses whether such households have different behavioural responses to energy efficiency compared to the rest of society and investigates whether micro-generation renewable energy technologies are less likely to be adopted by these households. It uses conditional logit and mixed logit models to investigate the impact of age of household on primary heating adoption, and also to assess the impact of older households on the installation of discretionary micro-generation technologies (solar thermal, solar voltaic, and wind power) to supplement existing heating and lighting systems. Results indicate that primary heating choice is not affected but that older person households are less inclined to adopt micro-generation technologies.