Abstract for: Diffusion of Solar Photovoltaics Across the Brazilian Residential Sector: A Systems Modeling Approach

The majority (>65%) of energy demand in Brazil is supplied by hydroelectric dams; however extended droughts have led the country to investigate other sources and technologies to meet growing demand, including solar photovoltaic (PV). Adoption of solar PV among households has grown noticeably in the past decade (+153,000 consumer units by 2020) given technological advancements and decreases in installation costs. Despite positive developments, several barriers limit the technology from diffusing through society rapidly. Many methods have been used to investigate how these barriers affect diffusion across Brazil, but often, in an isolated matter, not treating them as interconnected components comprising a wider system. This study analyzes the diffusion of PV in a Brazilian system using system dynamics (SD), a modeling approach characterized by feedback responses, dynamic behavior and time delays between actors and technology adoption. Diffusion is analyzed in a SD model that simulates solar PV uptake, energy production and carbon credit accumulation in Brazil from 2012 to 2030. Findings indicate policy strategies to employ for better streamlining uptake in the residential sector. In addition, model simulations highlight the need to develop energy strategies to respond and sustain diffusion in response to Brazil’s dynamic energy system.