Session 3

How to Promote the Installation of Photovoltaic Systems
Nadia Sperr, Jürg Rohrer
Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW Switzerland

The potential for solar energy production on existing buildings in Switzerland is estimated to be 40% of annual Swiss electricity consumption. At present, solar energy accounts for 3% of all electricity produced. In order to establish motivators for Swiss building owners to adopt solar PV systems and the barriers preventing them from adopting such systems, a survey of the owners of buildings with a high potential for solar energy production was conducted. The participants had been informed about the potential of their building as part of a previous study four years previously.
The evaluation of the 102 completed questionnaires showed that 60% of all respondents are still indecisive, even after having received information in a letter and at an event, with 30% having decided against installing a PV system. Information concerning the high potential for solar energy production and how to build a PV system did not seem to be sufficient to motivate building owners to take action. Initial efforts to address the attitudes of this large group of indecisive building owners were developed from their responses. The most frequently mentioned main reasons for not installing rooftop PV were the joint ownership of buildings and the perceived low financial benefits of PV systems, making up 30% and 20% of all responses respectively.
Response analysis also showed that different owner groups provided different reasons for not installing a PV system. Respondents with joint building ownership perceived the time needed for planning and realisation of a PV system to be greater than sole owners of buildings and also stated that an independent electricity supply was less important for them. For this reason, owners of privately owned flats and rented apartments should be dealt with separately, focusing on measures tailored to their specific needs, for example co-benefits rather than financial benefits.