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A First Step up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household’s Welfare in Rural Rwanda

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Michael Grimm, Anicet Munyehirwe, Jorg Peters, Maximiliane Sievert
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Pico-photovoltaic (PV) kits have become a lower-cost alternative to investment intensive grid electrification. Using a randomized controlled trial, the authors examine uptake and impacts of a simple pico-PV kit that barely exceeds the benchmark of what the UN considers modern energy. They find significant effects on households’ budget, productivity and convenience. Despite these effects, the data show that adoption will be impeded by affordability, suggesting that policy has to consider subsidized dissemination strategies.