Societal uptake of household solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is the result of a complex and interdependent array of technical, social, political and economic factors. This novel study employs a systems lens to examine both technical and non-technical barriers to renewables, with a focus on interactions that are empirically influential on PV uptake. Using local solar expert stakeholder input into a participatory systems approach, this study provides a structural analysis of factors influencing household solar adoption. The approach is applied and assessed for household solar PV systems in Santiago, Chile, to gain insight into the interconnected factors driving technology adoption. Barriers and motivations to adoption identified in a recent Delphi study for Santiago were used to create a list of factors thought by local experts to impact future adoption. These factors and their pairwise interactions were modeled using the impact matrix multiplication applied to classification (MICMAC) technique and analyzed within a four-hour workshop with eight solar experts in Santiago. Results from the analysis regarding factor influence, dependence and evolutionary trajectories were presented to experts and discussed at length. Salient discussion points focused on the need for attractive financial incentives, knowledge diffusion among potential consumers, and a maturing market that incites a cultural shift towards customers who desire energy independence. Intuitive and insightful programmatic areas were illuminated for policy and action in Santiago based on a systems-focused interpretation of factors in the form of short- and long-term strategies.
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