Are Solar Microgrids a sustainable solution to rural electricity deprivation?

4:30–7:30 pm


This workshop presented the initial results of a 3-year randomized control trial implemented in partnership with Husk Power Systems Pvt. Ltd. Researchers affiliated with EPIC and J-PAL South Asia evaluated the impact of offering solar micro-grid products in 100 villages across East and West Champaran districts of Northwest Bihar, within the framework of a careful experimental design. The study was designed to measure the price elasticity of demand for solar power, the impact of supply on welfare as well the nature of competition between solar, decentralized diesel and  grid electricity. Anant Sudarshan presented estimates of willingness-to-pay for solar energy in these villages, as well as estimates of total household expenditures on energy.
The Principal Investigators on this study was Michael Greenstone and Anant Sudarshan from EPIC, along with Robin Burgess (London School of Economics) and Nicholas Ryan (Yale University). Research funding has been provided by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, ICG-Bihar, USAID, LGT Venture Philanthropy and the Acumen Fund.