Energies, Vol. 15, Pages 7257: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Decision to Use Solar Energy and Install Photovoltaic Panels in Households in the Years 2019–2021 within the Area of a Selected Polish Municipality (Energies)
The aim of this article is to show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on electricity consumption and, consequently, on decisions regarding the installation of photovoltaic panels using the example of a selected local authority in Poland—the Szemud Municipality. The analysis was conducted in 2022 and covered the years 2019–2021. An attempt was made to explore the factors that may have triggered an increase in the use of solar energy in households and identify the determinants of installing photovoltaic panels in the period under analysis. Previous analyses of the PV market (and the impact of the pandemic on it) have so far focused on the market as a whole, either in macro or global terms, while studies on smaller municipalities have been limited to examining changes in electricity consumption levels during the COVID-19 pandemic and during lockdown. Therefore, a research gap was identified in that there are no studies analyzing the reasons for the shift from conventional to PV-assisted energy in households, with the COVID-19 pandemic as the background of these changes. The literature research showed that there are currently no studies attempting to establish a link between the increased interest in this type of energy by local authorities and the COVID-19 pandemic. The research confirmed the hypothesis of increased interest in household PV during the pandemic. The main conclusions of the study boil down to the need for further support as well as promotion of the use of solar energy. In addition, the results derived from the empirical research indicate the need to take action at a policy level to counter adverse trends regarding undesirable social behavior.