Household Solar Adoption: A Systematic Review
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The astounding scope of the global energy poverty challenge has motivated many organizations to provide solar energy solutions to lighting, heating, and cooking needs in off-grid settings. However, poorly designed or executed projects have the potential to cause unnecessary harm in communities lacking access to reliable energy. This review aims to identify and analyze the enabling environment factors that drive or block the diffusion, dissemination, and adoption of solar home systems, solar lanterns, solar hot water heaters, and solar cooking products in low-income countries. To address this question, I have conducted a systematic review to examine which factors support or complicate household solar adoption. I identified 43 studies in 25 countries that describe an environment including financial controls, market development, program mechanisms, and regulatory standards. At the household level, the cost of technology and quality of a product have the potential to greatly impact the success of a program. Customer support and ongoing maintenance increase the initiative’s sustainability and impact as customers continue using solar technologies in their daily lives. For programs, trainings and financing mechanisms provide customers with new platforms to address their energy needs and maintain agency over their household purchasing choices. Finally, regional market growth is encouraged when governments facilitate product testing and high quality standards. This complex and interconnected system of factors can either drive increases in households transitioning from harmful fuel usage to renewable energy or discourage communities from adopting the equipment under consideration. Although a number of studies fit the scope of this review, more research is needed to examine understudied locations, adjust the imbalances in the technologies studied, and address themes missing or underrepresented in this set of works on solar distribution models in low- and middle-income countries.
CitationGirardeau, Hannah (2017). Household Solar Adoption: A Systematic Review. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14203.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment