A First Step Up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household's Welfare in Rural Rwanda

47 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2015

See all articles by Michael Grimm

Michael Grimm

Erasmus University Rotterdam; University of Passau; IZA; DIW Berlin

Anicet Munyehirwe

IB&C (Rwanda)

Jörg Peters

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research; University of Passau - Business Administration and Economics

Maximiliane Sievert

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 15, 2015

Abstract

More than 1.3 billion people in developing countries are lacking access to electricity. Based on the assumption that electricity is a prerequisite for human development, the United Nations initiative Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) has proclaimed the goal of providing modern energy to all by 2030. In recent years, Pico-Photovoltaic kits have become a lower-cost alternative to investment-intensive grid electrification. Using a randomized controlled trial we examine uptake and impacts of a simple Pico-Photovoltaic kit that barely exceeds the benchmark of what the UN considers as modern energy. We find significant effects on households’ budget, productivity and convenience. Despite these effects, the data shows that adoption will be impeded by affordability, suggesting that policy would have to consider more direct promotion strategies such as subsidies or financing schemes to reach the UN goal.

Keywords: Energy access; household productivity; household technology adoption; Sub-Saharan Africa; Randomized Controlled Trial

JEL Classification: O13, O18, Q41, D13, I31

Suggested Citation

Grimm, Michael and Munyehirwe, Anicet and Peters, Jörg and Sievert, Maximiliane, A First Step Up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household's Welfare in Rural Rwanda (April 15, 2015). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 554. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2618446 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2618446

Michael Grimm

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

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University of Passau ( email )

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IZA ( email )

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DIW Berlin ( email )

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Anicet Munyehirwe

IB&C (Rwanda)

Boulevard de Nyabugoro
Kigali
Rwanda

Jörg Peters

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
45128 Essen
Germany
0049-201-8149-247 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rwi-essen.de

University of Passau - Business Administration and Economics ( email )

Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultaet
Passau, D-94030
Germany

Maximiliane Sievert (Contact Author)

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

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