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Accepted paper:

A comparison of the socio-cultural adoption determinants of solar home systems and LPG in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Vivien Kizilcec (University College London)
Iwona Bisaga (University College London)
Tash Perros (UCL)
Priti Parikh (UCL)

Paper short abstract:

This review focusses on the socio-cultural factors driving household decisions to adopt solar home systems and compares them to the adoption drivers for LPG. Households facing energy poverty across Sub-Saharan Africa will be examined.

Paper long abstract:

The emergence of solar home systems (SHS) as a viable technology for households lacking electricity access has led to their wide-scale adoption across Sub-Saharan Africa, which dominate the total global sales of SHSs, with a share of 70% (GOGLA, 2019). EFID in collaboration with BBOXX have reviewed consumer behaviour for solar home systems and clean cooking in Rwanda through three ongoing doctoral projects, which form the basis of this paper. BBOXX currently have over 200,000 SHS consumers and 100 pilot clean cook consumers in SSA.

The paper will conduct a literature review on what socio-cultural factors, beyond purely income levels, impact a household's decision to sign up for a SHS in Sub-Saharan Africa. These adoption determinants for electricity through SHSs will then be compared to the determinants of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking. In addition, case studies of BBOXX SHS and LPG customers will be examined.

Papers have uncovered a common set of determinants between households, showcasing the motivations behind people's purchasing decisions, such as households' awareness and knowledge of SHS and LPG. The aim is to use the outputs of this review to provide policy recommendations to the public sector to provide an enabling environment for the private sector to scale up. The similarities and differences between drivers behind both clean cooking and clean electricity adoption will provide key information for companies' investment strategies, product design, consumer support and marketing strategies and could thereby improve and accelerate energy access in light of the 2030 deadline of achieving universal access.

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Collaborations in Research on Low Carbon Energy