An analysis of defussion and competition trend of PV and ST technologies and impact of incentives on their development in US

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof. School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

2 British Colombia


The growth of two important technologies in solar energy throughout the world, including North America, i.e. the photovoltaic (PV) and the solar thermal (ST), has been dependent on government supports and financial incentives for investment in these technologies. In this paper, huge sets of autoregressive (AR) and vector AR models are developed as candidates for analysis of growth trends of both PV and ST technologies in the US. Then the best models are selected via a systematic model selection method. For the lack of exact data, the effects of incentives on these technologies are estimated by the Monte-Carlo simulation technique. Both real data and simulation results reveal the probability of a hype (herd) behavior in the diffusion of the technologies, both in past and in the present. Moreover, ST technology has already lost its growth speed because of drops in the substituting energy, i.e. natural gas prices. It is shown that the financial incentives had no more influence on ST growth after 2008. Although PV diffusion is accelerating fast, the simulation shows it also may partly lose its current tremendous growth rate, if the incentives are removed. This can be a valuable lesson for the development of renewable energies in


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