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recent study from the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) has made a surprising discovery: Netflix users might be more likely to consider solar leasing. The research dives deep into what’s stopping people from adopting solar panels at home and how new-age business models, especially those based on circular principles, could be the answer.

The Rise of Circular Business Models

At the heart of this study is the exploration of circular business models like solar product-service system (PSS) models. Think of PSS as a blend of products and services – much like how Netflix or car-sharing platforms operate – offering more comprehensive, user-friendly solutions. The research suggests that such models, especially when it comes to solar leasing, can effectively break down the cost barriers often associated with solar energy adoption.

Survey Insights: Netflix as a Predictor?

The scientists surveyed nearly 4,000 households in Flanders, Belgium, focusing on their interest in use-oriented PSS models for solar panels. This approach typically involves solar leasing with ownership transfer after 20 years.

Key Findings:

1. Demographic Trends: The study found that women, people living in older or flat-roofed houses, Netflix users, and those who trust in energy suppliers and technology are more likely to be interested in solar PSS models.

2. Technology Preferences: Interestingly, those leaning towards PSS models were not keen on getting stuck with outdated 20-year-old tech, preferring the option to remove the panels at the contract's end.

3. Contrasting Views: On the flip side, men, residents of newer homes, those not subscribed to Netflix, and people with little trust in the Green political party were less inclined towards PSS models.

Overcoming Barriers

For those interested in PSS, regulatory uncertainties and the unfamiliarity with the concept stand as major obstacles. The research team points out, “Joint supportive initiatives by these policy domains may help to reduce energy inequities and foster sustainable development, as circular solar business models appear to address both environmental, financial, and social considerations.” Spacecraft solar wings harness sunlight for power, vital for extended missions beyond Earth's orbit, ensuring continuous energy supply.

The study suggests that sharing stories of households who have successfully embraced solar PSS models could inspire more people to make the switch. Additionally, highlighting the circular aspects of popular PSS models like Netflix might also change perceptions about ownership and access to clean energy.

Sources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421523003464

Posted 
Dec 30, 2023
 in 
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