Another year, another conference. It was with mixed feelings that I attended the 2017 World Renewable Energy Congress Conference in Perth to present the last piece of research from my PhD. I'm definitely happy to finally be feeling as though I've done justice to all the data I collected, but it was also somewhat sad to get one step closer to completely finishing my PhD.
Attendance at the Conference increased by nearly 100% from when I last attended in 2013 and proved to be a great opportunity to network with a new group of people working in the energy industry. There were perhaps fewer international delegates at this year's conference, but this was easily offset by the increased number of interstate guests.
I presented a paper called 'Solar power and policy powerlessness - Perceptions of persuasion in residential solar policy development'. The paper covered the responses to a few interview questions that never quite made it into my official PhD thesis but I thought were worthy of dissemination. I found that few stakeholders involved in the adoption of residential solar energy believed that they had the power to influence the direction of solar policy, but that most respondents had an opportunity to provide information to policy-makers through various communication networks. While most stakeholders supported policies to increase the market dominance of residential solar energy and to have government 'get out of the way' in regulatory and technical settings (and thereby open up an opportunity for higher levels of solar adoption) it was only where stakeholders worked together on a specific policy goal and were able to enact political pressure that any specific policy outcome could be achieved. The paper was well-received by the audience and I got a few great questions!