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Achieving renewable energy, climate, and air quality policy goals: Rural residential investment in solar panel

Kaya, Ozgur, Klepacka, Anna M., Florkowski, Wojciech J.
Journal of environmental management 2019 pp. 109309
European Union, air pollution, air quality, attitudes and opinions, climate, education, energy, equations, farmers, farms, fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, households, issues and policy, landfills, local government, prices, questionnaires, solar collectors, solar energy, subsidies, surveys, Poland
Heavy dependence on fossil fuels among rural households contributes to GHG emissions and air pollution while increasing landfill loads in Poland. This study examines benefits from the renewable energy utilization support program that subsidized household purchase and installation of thermal solar panels. This review of synergy between energy, climate, and air quality policies focuses on solar panel subsidies funded through the European Union and county governments in Mazowieckie Voivodship in Poland. County government offices, using the unpublished list of households receiving subsidies for thermal solar panel installation, mediated in the implementation of the survey and collected 123 completed questionnaires in May and June 2015. The heteroscedasticity-corrected OLS estimates two equations identifying and quantifying factors influencing the purchase price of solar panels and rural household monthly energy bill savings after installation using the gathered data. Among sociodemographic variables, increasing age was associated with an increasing price paid for the panels, but education was associated with paying a lower price for solar panels and lower self-reported energy bill savings. Panel purchase price increased if the respondent was a farmer, viewed subsidies as important, and preferred domestically manufactured panels. Location of household increased the price as compared to the reference county. Savings on monthly energy bills increased if respondent had a positive view of solar energy, expected a decrease in the bill following the purchase of panels, and heated large areas in the house. Subsidy programs have been important in increased household solar energy utilization, especially among farm households, while self-reported energy bill savings increased with positive attitudes towards renewable energy and the larger heated areas in rural residences.