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Energy Seminar: Ognen Stojanovski, Uncovering End-User Adoption and Use Characteristics for Solar Home Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

Ognen Stojanovski, Research Scholar, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University
Talk Abstract:
Solar photovoltaic (PV) products have emerged as a leading potential solution to Sub-Saharan Africa’s long-term electrification and development problems. But despite apparent successes in the adoption of solar PV technology in the region – sales have soared to well over 10 million household-sized or smaller units in just the last five years – important questions remain about whether these products are actually realizing their full potential to deliver sustainable energy or broader development benefits. On an even more basic level, there is very little data available on (1) who adopts solar PV technology (products are targeted at the “bottom of the pyramid” but where they actually end up is not well understood); (2) how solar PV products interact with end-users’ pre-existing energy systems (which solar PVs are often assumed to simply displace); and (3) the extent to which actual use patterns of solar products match up with the presumed ones of solar manufacturers and development agencies. In this talk, we probe these questions by presenting the results of survey data that tracked 500 adopters of solar home systems for one year in Kenya and Uganda, two of the hottest off-grid solar markets in Africa. We suggest that filling the existing knowledge gap with this kind of research could significantly improve the operations of solar companies and the decision-making of market development supporters (governments, aid agencies, NGOs, and multilateral organizations).



Monday, May 16, 2016. 04:30 PM


NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center


Precourt Institute for Energy


Free and open to all