Reducing Barriers to Rural Roof-top Solar Adoption: Experimental Evidence from India

Last registered on March 17, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Reducing Barriers to Rural Roof-top Solar Adoption: Experimental Evidence from India
Initial registration date
March 16, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 17, 2021, 10:31 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

University of California, Irvine

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Electricity access is a crucial part of the economy, constituting one of the largest inputs to industry, and responsible for significant gains in development outcomes such as education, employment and productivity. However, developing countries lack universal electrification and even those who are connected, experience intermittent supply. Solar mini-grids and homesystems have been offered as a potential substitute, or a stop-gap until the grid can be extended and improved. However, adoption continues to be low, and one of the reasons presented in earlier research is that people may have very low demand for grid alternatives. However, we identify information and trust constraints as significant barriers to adoption and explore that in this study.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Mahadevan, Meera and Robyn Meeks. 2021. "Reducing Barriers to Rural Roof-top Solar Adoption: Experimental Evidence from India." AEA RCT Registry. March 17.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Adoption of rooftop solar, expressed interest in adopting, agent and consumer knowledge of solar, agent professionalism, product suitability, observed use of mobile app, COVID related changes in electricity provision and household economic status
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Households and firms across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha were randomized into treatment and control groups, where treatment group was approached by sales agent from solar start-up, equipped with an algorithmic mobile application, while control subjects were approached by agents with a control app.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer using a fixed seed
Randomization Unit
Census block level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
180 (91 in control and 89 in treatment) - we finally ended up with 74 clusters total due to COVID related lockdown restrictions
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1185 households/firms in treatment group and 1061 households/firms in control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials