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

Last registered on March 17, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Reducing Barriers to Rural Roof-top Solar Adoption: Experimental Evidence from India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007377
Initial registration date
March 16, 2021
Last updated
March 17, 2021, 10:31 AM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of California, Irvine

Other Primary Investigator(s)

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

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2020-01-15
End date
2020-11-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
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

Citation
Mahadevan, Meera and Robyn Meeks. 2021. "Reducing Barriers to Rural Roof-top Solar Adoption: Experimental Evidence from India." AEA RCT Registry. March 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7377-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-02-01
Intervention End Date
2020-11-30

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?
Yes

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
2246
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)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials