Rural Electrification with Off-Grid Community Microgrids: An Impact Evaluation in Uttar Pradesh, India
- 31 March, 2018
- IGC Research on India
University of Pittsburgh
University of Glasgow
William and Mary College
Johns Hopkins University
This project assesses the socioeconomic effects of solar microgrids. The lack of access to electricity is a major obstacle to the socioeconomic development of more than a billion people. Off-grid solar technologies hold potential as an affordable and clean solution to satisfy basic electricity needs. The authors conducted a randomised field experiment in India to estimate the causal effect of off-grid solar power on electricity access and broader socioeconomic development of 1,281 rural households. Within a year, electrification rates in the treatment group increased by 29 to 36 percentage points. Daily hours of access to electricity increased only by 0.99 to 1.42 hours. Kerosene expenditure on the black market decreased by 47 to 49 rupees per month. Despite these strong electrification and expenditure effects, this project finds no systematic evidence for changes in savings, spending, business creation, time spent working or studying, or other broader indicators of socioeconomic development.
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