Characteristics of innovation in adopting a renewable residential energy system

A. Tapaninen, M. Seppänen, S. Mäkinen

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    Purpose – This paper investigates the criteria influencing the adoption of innovation in the empirical context of renewable residential energy solutions, particularly the wood pellet heating system. Design/methodology/approach – The study carried out an extensive literature review on Rogers’ characteristics of innovation theory and then complemented it with a content analysis on empirically perceived characteristics on wood pellet heating systems. Findings – The literature review shows that most of the previous studies employ the characteristics of innovation but do not confirm the usability of the Rogers framework as a whole. In addition, our empirical results demonstrate that relative advantage is the predominant characteristic in the adoption of residential energy systems. Research limitations – The limitations of the literature review and the biases of empirical findings are discussed. For instance, there are limitations that the study is based on single country data and its theoretical approach relies on only one theory, Rogers’ characteristics of innovation. Practical implications – In order to achieve sustainable strategic advantage, firms providing renewable energy solutions should attempt to communicate clearly the relative advantages instead of attempting to, for instance, offer an opportunity for trialling such green energy systems. Originality/value – The paper highlights the use of characteristics of innovation and further empirically examines the perceived characteristics of an innovation considering green investments in residential heating systems. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, the results provide a gateway to a number of possible avenues for future research.
    Translated title of the contributionCharacteristics of innovation in adopting a renewable residential energy system
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-366
    JournalJournal of Systems and Information Technology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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