Renewables in the Energy Transition: Evidence on Solar Home Systems and Lighting-Fuel Choice in Kenya

Energy Economics, Vol. 40, 2013

GIGA Working Paper No 198

28 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2012 Last revised: 31 Jan 2014

See all articles by Jann Lay

Jann Lay

GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies; University of Goettingen

Janosch Ondraczek

University of Hamburg, Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change; International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Jana Stoever

Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

We study the determinants of households’ choices of lighting fuels in Kenya, including the option of using solar home systems (SHSs). The paper adds new evidence on the factors that influence the introduction and adoption of decentralized and less carbon‐intensive energy sources in developing countries. We capitalize on a unique representative survey on energy use and sources from Kenya, one of the few relatively well‐established SHSs markets in the world. Our results reveal some very interesting patterns in the fuel transition in the context of lighting‐fuel choices. While we find clear evidence for a cross-sectional energy ladder, the income threshold for modern fuel use – including solar energy use – is very high. Income and education turn out to be key determinants of SHSs adoption, but we also find a very pronounced effect of SHSs clustering. In addition, we do not find a negative correlation between grid access and SHSs use.

Keywords: renewable energy, household fuel choice, lighting‐fuel choice, solar power use, solar home systems, Kenya, energy ladder, KIHBS

JEL Classification: D12, O12, Q42

Suggested Citation

Lay, Jann and Ondraczek, Janosch and Stoever, Jana, Renewables in the Energy Transition: Evidence on Solar Home Systems and Lighting-Fuel Choice in Kenya (2012). Energy Economics, Vol. 40, 2013; GIGA Working Paper No 198. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2143123 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2143123

Jann Lay (Contact Author)

GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies ( email )

Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
Hamburg, DE D-20354
Germany

University of Goettingen

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Janosch Ondraczek

University of Hamburg, Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change ( email )

Grindelberg 5
Hamburg, 20144
Germany

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
Laxenburg, A-2361
Austria

Jana Stoever

Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) ( email )

Heimhuder Strasse 71
Hamburg, DE Hamburg 20148
Germany

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