Increasing Adoption of Rooftop Solar in Bangalore

India’s increasing prominence in the global economy has been accompanied by hazardous air pollution levels, in part due to the dominance of coal-based power generation. To reduce air pollution levels and increase energy production, the national government has set an ambitious target of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, but so far India has met less than a third of the target. We aim to understand barriers to the adoption of rooftop solar–an important component of these solar targets–in urban India where energy demand is expected to more than double in the next twenty years. The pilot has two objectives. First, the researchers will test four strategies to relax the barriers to adoption of rooftop solar by households: (a) an information treatment about their solar potential, cost schedules, and years taken to recover costs to ease information constraints, (b) provide a trained electrician/officer to assist with the technical aspects of installing solar and liaising with the utility in order to ease logistical and cognitive barriers, (c) randomize households into being treated with peer information to ease behavioral constraints and evaluate spillover effects, and (d) a price treatment to test the effect of purchase subsidy on the adoption of rooftop solar. Second, our project will inform a full study to understand the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of rooftop solar for residential consumers, the projected greenhouse gas emissions reductions per unit of government subsidy, and, consequently, whether governments should pursue such a strategy for residential consumers.

RFP Cycle:
Spring 2021
  • Teevrat Garg
  • Meera Mahadevan
  • Pilot project