Date of Award

5-8-2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Rodrigo Schneider

Second Advisor

Sandra Goff

Abstract

To determine the impacts of constructing PV solar panels on high- and low-income areas, this research utilized housing data from New York State since 1996, PV solar panel data from NYSERDA, and income data for New York in 2018. It used two difference-in-difference (DID) regression models covering three treatment groups to discover how high- and low-income housing values are impacted after the construction of PV solar panels. Previous research established a precedent in which a difference between these demographic groups could be expected. Utilizing accepted thought regarding energy systems and a disparate impact on differing income groups, as well as sustainable development principles and externality theory, this work expected high-income individuals to benefit from the construction. The results demonstrate such a relationship, with low-income areas generating less added housing value for the construction of solar panels, though still achieving a positive relationship for the construction. The results also found low-income areas see a greater financial return per solar project constructed, though most likely due to greater diminishing returns seen in higher income areas. The results demonstrate a justification for an increased use of solar panels and shed light on the differing impacts high- and low- income areas face, though the issue warrants further research.

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