Household Solar Adoption: Drivers and Barriers

Cataloguing the variables that affect solar dissemination

There is a complex and interconnected system of factors that drive adoption of solar products in the developing world.

Scaling solar solutions as a pathway for reducing energy poverty depends on a healthy enabling environment, support programs designed to develop this environment, and fully incorporating location-specific cultural factors that impact product uptake. This research catalogues the current body of research on distributed solar technologies in developing communities, including home systems, ovens, hot water heaters, and lanterns.

Out of thousands of research papers assessed, 43 directly comment on a network of interacting factors including financing options available to households, the quality of the product used in the study, training for user operation, marketing strategies, community involvement, and the presence of product testing or design standards. In addition to the general cost of the product in question, these factors can have an impact on a family’s decision to buy or continue using solar products. As the private sector and aid organizations rapidly move forward with models for rural, distributed energy using efficient and relatively affordable products, there is a continuing need to explore the complex factors that impact the success of solar programs and companies worldwide.

This gap between scientific literature and practice must be narrowed if the global community is to efficiently solve the energy poverty crisis within the next decade.”

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