Solar home systems for rural India: Survey evidence on awareness and willingness to pay from Uttar Pradesh

Johannes Urpelainen, Semee Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


While solar home systems hold considerable promise for improving access to electricity in developing countries in tropical regions, scholars and practitioners argue that the lack of awareness, interest, and ability to pay for the technology undermines the growth of the market. We describe and explain patterns of awareness and interest in solar home systems (SHS) in a survey of 760 respondents in rural Uttar Pradesh, India. We conducted the surveys in collaboration with a local solar enterprise, Boond, and chose villages that are prime locations for the installation of solar home systems. We found that high household income and education levels, as well as young age, predict awareness of SHS products. In addition to wealthy and educated households, willingness to pay is higher in households that have electricity. The findings can help policymakers identify and target households with low levels of awareness and solar entrepreneurs identify suitable customers for their products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank MORSEL India for excellent data collection. We are grateful to Seth Ariel Green and Eugenie Dugoua for insightful comments on an earlier draft. The survey was funded by the Earth Institute at Columbia University under an Earth Clinic grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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