A National Certification Scheme to Enhance Trust and Quality in the Indian Residential Solar PV Market

11 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2016

See all articles by Rahul Verma

Rahul Verma

University of Texas at Austin

Drake Hernandez

University of Texas at Austin

Varun Sivaram

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Varun Rai

University of Texas at Austin - LBJ School of Public Affairs; University of Texas at Austin - Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date Written: July 16, 2016

Abstract

India has recently committed to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022, the principal component of its climate policy agenda. But the pace of solar adoption in the residential rooftop sector — the success of which is important for local job creation and sustaining political support for India’s broader climate goals — has been sluggish, notwithstanding government efforts to jumpstart the market. At the core of the residential solar market’s dysfunction is a negative spiral of low-quality solar installations and consumer distrust that fuel one another. Quality and trust are essential drivers of successful technology diffusion, and the emergence of trusted brands can drive a virtuous cycle rather than a vicious one. A promising solution to enable a virtuous cycle is a third-party certification scheme, which could instill trust in consumers by designating solar providers with a proven track record and competent technicians. India’s government should implement a voluntary, two-level certification scheme that accredits individual technicians as well as solar providers and makes the certifications publicly available. If the government can leverage best practices from around the world, avoid over-regulation, and deter corruption, then India’s residential solar market could finally take off.

Keywords: Residential solar, Energy in India, Information asymmetry, Third-party certification, Consumer Behavior, Diffusion of Innovation

JEL Classification: D18, D82, D83, L14, L15, L94, O33, Q42, R22

Suggested Citation

Verma, Rahul and Hernandez, Drake and Sivaram, Varun and Rai, Varun, A National Certification Scheme to Enhance Trust and Quality in the Indian Residential Solar PV Market (July 16, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811270 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2811270

Rahul Verma

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX Texas 78712
United States

Drake Hernandez

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX Texas 78712
United States

Varun Sivaram

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) ( email )

The Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10021
United States

Varun Rai (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - LBJ School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

University of Texas at Austin - Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering ( email )

United States

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