Argentina Solar Home System and Tariff Impact Evaluation

Last registered on August 18, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Argentina Solar Home System and Tariff Impact Evaluation
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000971
Initial registration date
December 03, 2015
Last updated
August 18, 2021, 3:31 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Leibniz University Hannover/ The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Claremont McKenna College
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2016-03-15
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Universal access to environmentally and financially sustainable electricity is a top priority of many developing countries, with 1.6 billion people worldwide still lacking access. In Argentina, the government seeks to provide energy to the remaining electricity-deprived people in the country with the installation of green off-grid solutions in the form of solar home systems (SHSs). Due to low income levels of the beneficiary households, subsidies for both installation and maintenance are required. Subsidies puts constraints on government resources and jeopardizes the (financial) sustainability of the program. On the other hand, empirical evidence on the ways in which users and local economies are affected by electricity access expansion remains unclear.
This impact evaluation is related to a World Bank project, PERMER II (Renewable Energy Project for Rural Markets), and will focus on the northern province of Salta, where approximately 10,000 SHSs will be installed (20% of the 50,000 estimated for the whole of Argentina). The evaluation consists of three interventions: the installation of SHSs, capacity trainings on maintenance and operation of the systems, and variation in tariff subsidy levels. These interventions will allow us to study the impact of SHSs on the quality of life of rural households (e.g., household production and income, health and education), the underlying causal mechanisms, and the possibility to magnify these impacts through additional capacity training about the optimum uses of their SHSs to users. In addition, the evaluation aims to inform the design of a sustainable tariff and subsidy system by examining the willingness to pay for the service, how long it takes for households to reach their “true valuation” of electricity access, and what factors affect the rate at which this happens. All three interventions will be randomly assigned to household groups during the period 2016-2019.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Flory, Jeffrey, John List and Arndt Reichert. 2021. "Argentina Solar Home System and Tariff Impact Evaluation." AEA RCT Registry. August 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.971-1.1
Former Citation
Flory, Jeffrey et al. 2021. "Argentina Solar Home System and Tariff Impact Evaluation." AEA RCT Registry. August 18. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/971/history/97979
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2016-05-16
Intervention End Date
2019-07-26

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Household production, Household income, Household Health, Household and individual Education, Social capital, Security, Migration, Energy use, Household expenditures, Household Credit
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In the proposed IE, we will examine the installation of SHSs, capacity trainings on maintenance and operation of the systems, and variation in tariff subsidy levels utilizing a randomized phase in design. Installations will be organized under PERMER II by household groups (HGs) which are comprised of a community or a group of communities. We randomly assign 400 HGs into eight experimental groups (EGs) along three dimensions – installation round, subsidy reduction, and capacity training.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer but live streamed to project coordination unit of national government
Randomization Unit
SHS installations will be organized by household groups which are comprised of a community or a group of communities. We consider possibility of individual level randomization for additional interventions.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
400 household groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 clusters per treatment arm, 250 households per treatment arm
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
No
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials