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Wildfire, Power Shutoff, and Residential Energy Storage Adoption

This study investigates residential solar plus storage (SS) adoption decisions in California amid the dual risks of wildfires and the associated power outages. Using city-level monthly data from 2018 to 2020, I show that a one-percent increment in Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events led to a 0.057-0.088% rise in applications for SS system and a 0.29- 0.518% cost uptick in the following two months. Outside of High Fire Threat Districts (HFTD), individuals mainly adopted third-party-owned SS systems as short-term solutions to perceived power outage risks, whereas their responses were deterred by the intensity of concurrent wildfires. As latent wildfire hazards increase in HFTD, recent wildfires conveyed less new risk information to dissuade individuals’ averring behavior, while the concerns about power outage risks were overshadowed by preexisting perceptions of latent wildfire threats.