When do circular business models resolve barriers to residential solar PV adoption?
Solar energy is an important renewable energy source to support a decarbonization of our energy mix. Although the uptake of solar PV surged in the last decade, many households face significant barriers to invest in solar energy. Circular business models may mitigate the upcoming PV waste problem and increase energy and resource independence. In this paper, we investigate when circular business models may also lower barriers for residential PV-adoption. We use survey data (n = 3,996) from Flanders (Belgium), controlling for personal and housing characteristics, and institutional trust parameters. Our results suggest that upfront costs, a lack of trust in governments, technological obsolescence, and a perceived lack of profitability constitute the main barriers for residential solar PV investments. Circular business models, including product service systems and PV reuse, appear to resolve only the former barrier. Furthermore, our results show the importance of trust in service providers and technology, and the complex relationship between trust in governments and solar PV investments. We recommend policymakers to invest in legal complementarity and legal certainty, enabling households to regain trust to adopt new and sustainable technologies, and identify novel research gaps.