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Political Affiliation and Rooftop Solar Adoption in New York and Texas

  • Author(s): Sunter, DA;
  • Dees, J;
  • Castellanos, S;
  • Callaway, D;
  • Kammen, DM
  • et al.

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Renewable energy is often presented as a partisan issue. However, solar incentives have made rooftop PV attractive to many consumers, regardless of political affiliation. This paper quantifies the role of political affiliation in rooftop PV adoption for the Democratic-leaning state of New York and Republican-leaning state of Texas. High resolution rooftop PV installation data from Google Project Sunroof is combined with election data from the Harvard Election Data Archive. We applied a bootstrapped LOWESS model to fit local linear relationships between rooftop PV adoption and both voting behavior and household income. In doing so, we find that Republican-majority communities are installing rooftop PV at equal or greater rates than Democraticmajority communities. While Republican politicians may be less likely than Democrats to support renewable energy, this partisan division is not found at the voter level.

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