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Geography, Community, Household: Adoption of Distributed Solar Power Across India

Energy for Sustainable Development, Forthcoming

50 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017  

Michaël Aklin

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Political Science

Chao-yo Cheng

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Date Written: September 29, 2017

Abstract

We investigate the determinants of distributed solar technology adoption at the village and household level in India. Using spatial data on insolation, census records, and original surveys, we show that remote and poor but large villages with abundant sunshine have led the wave of solar technology adoption as an alternative to grid electricity. At the household level, however, wealth and financial access are positively associated with solar technology adoption, a result that holds for both solar lanterns and home systems. Moreover, remote villages are more likely to see solar technology adoption when households have access to finance through banks. We also find that the use of household solar technology is strongly associated with a household's subjective satisfaction with domestic lighting. These results demonstrate that understanding solar technology adoption in geographies requires considering both community and household characteristics. They also underscore the importance of financial access as a precondition for using distributed solar power as an alternative to grid connectivity.

Keywords: distributed solar power, technology adoption, sustainable energy, rural electrification, India

Suggested Citation

Aklin, Michaël and Cheng, Chao-yo and Urpelainen, Johannes, Geography, Community, Household: Adoption of Distributed Solar Power Across India (September 29, 2017). Energy for Sustainable Development, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045139

Michaël Aklin

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Political Science ( email )

4L01 Posvar Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Chao-yo Cheng

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/cycheng0627/

Johannes Urpelainen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

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