Hot Off the Press: Energy poverty and perceptions of solar power in marginalized communities: Survey evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India

Hot Off the Press: Energy poverty and perceptions of solar power in marginalized communities: Survey evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the reasons why people in off-grid communities decide (or not) to invest in off-grid energy alternatives (particularly solar home systems). In a new article entitled in Renewable Energy entitled ‘Energy poverty and perceptions of solar power in marginalized communities: Survey evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India,’ Johannes Urpelainen reports on a fascinating study of this issue within the Indian context.

Highlights• Energy access in unelectrified habitations in rural Uttar Pradesh, India.• Energy poverty, dissatisfaction with kerosene lighting widespread.• Awareness, perceptions of solar power high, positive.• Lack of trust in companies as possible barrier to market creation.

Abstract: The decreased cost of solar electricity generation has given a boost to rural energy markets, but most off-grid businesses remain small. A larger customer base is a precondition for business expansion and access to finance. This article reports findings from a large survey focused on energy access in unelectrified habitations in the Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh, India. While most villagers are dissatisfied with their kerosene lighting and the median monthly expense for this fuel is 100 rupees (USD ∼ 1.66), the data analysis also indicates that there is little trust in local companies and a large number of villagers prefer government leadership in electricity supply. These findings suggest that solar entrepreneurs must do more to demonstrate the quality of their products and services to villagers to expand their customer base.Keywords India; Energy poverty; Energy access; Solar power; Renewable energy; Off-grid rural electrification

For more details and full text for subscribers see: Energy poverty and perceptions of solar power in marginalized communities: Survey evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India

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