Solar capitalisation in the Australian property market

Crawford School of Public Policy | Resources, Environment and Development Group

Event details

RE&D Research Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 10 April 2014


Miller Theatre, Level 1, Old Canberra House Building 73, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Dr Chunbo Ma, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia.


Dr Keith Barney
6125 4957

Using a large sample of property sales data and high-resolution aerial maps, this study provides the first empirical estimate of the price premium of properties with photovoltaic (PV) panels in Australia. We use three model specifications to control for spatial heterogeneity and correlation as well as price dynamics over time. Results from hedonic models, repeated sales models and hybrid models have all shown strong evidence that PV panels contribute a 2.34 to 4.12 per cent premium to properties prices. This suggests that PV investments are, on average, over-capitalised into property prices during our sample period, which we argue is largely a reflection of changing policy parameters regarding feed-in tariffs. Greater premium is found in localities with a larger share of votes for the Green Party and Australian Labor Party in 2008 State Election and votes for no daylight saving in 2009 State Referendum, registered Prius hybrid vehicles and college graduates and postgraduates. The results have significant implications for property owners, builders, financial institutions, PV retailers, and policymakers.

Dr Chunbo Ma graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a PhD studying Chinese energy economy. He then worked as an Alcoa Research Fellow at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor studying Chinese electricity market. Dr Ma joined the University of Western Australia in 2009. He is currently working on an ARC Discovery Project studying energy transition and an ARC DECRA fellowship to model household PV diffusion. He was also recently awarded an Australia-China Emerging Future Leaders Fellowship by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering to study China’s coal-fired generation. His research interests lie primarily in renewable energy market, Australia-China electricity market, non-market valuation and Chinese energy economy.

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