Environment and Resources

Project: Impacts of Solar Home System Usage in Rural Burkina Faso

Project Duration

07/2010 - 07/2013 (finalized)

Commissioned by

Netherland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB)

Project Team (RWI)

Dr. Gunther Bensch, Prof. Dr. Jörg Peters (Chief)

Cooperation

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS); Bureau d’Etudes des Géosciences, des Energies et de l’Environnement (BEGE)

Leader of Consortium

RWI

Summary

In remote areas with low electrification rates, Solar Home Systems (SHS) can be seen as a promising alternative to the investment-intensive extension of the electricity grid. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides funding to a project in Burkina Faso that offers SHS to rural households using a market-based approach. The SHS that are distributed can provide electric lighting and – depending on the chosen capacity of the system – allow for the usage of small electric appliances up to colored television. As part of the series of impact evaluations of development activities supported by the Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RWI and ISS assess the socio-economic impact of the usage of SHS such as improved living conditions, time savings, increased security, better health conditions, and educational attainment trough extended study hours. The idea is to conduct a difference-in-difference approach based on household surveys before and after the intervention, in combination with propensity score matching (PSM) to better match control and treatment households on pre-program characteristics (e.g. education, socio-economic status, income, asset-ownership, characteristics of the villages they live in). Following the roll-out plan of Yeelen Ba’s activities, a baseline survey was conducted in November 2010 based on a random sample of villages that are in the program’s catchment area. In total, 1,200 households in 40 villages (30 households per village) were interviewed. A particular focus was on the use of appliances and energy expenditures, as well as convenience and comfort aspects before and after the SHS was installed. For the difference-in-difference approach the sample will be divided into a treatment group consisting of households who will have obtained an SHS in the meantime and a control group consisting of untreated households. The follow-up survey will be conducted two years after the baseline survey in November 2012. All households will be revisited and differences in the changes in the outcome variables between the treatment group and the control group will be assessed, providing insights about how ownership of an SHS changes the socio-economic living conditions of the households.

Selected project related publications

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

2018

Bensch, G., M. Grimm, M. Huppertz, J. Langbein and J. Peters (2018), Are Promotion Programs Needed to Establish Off-Grid Solar Energy Markets? Evidence from Rural Burkina Faso. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 90 : 1060-1068. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2017.11.003 

Discussion Papers

2016

Bensch, G., M. Grimm, M. Huppertz, J. Langbein and J. Peters (2016), Are Promotion Programs Needed to Establish Off-Grid Solar Energy Markets? Evidence from Rural Burkina Faso. Ruhr Economic Papers #653. RWI. DOI: 10.4419/86788759 download

RWI Reports

2013

RWI and ISS (2013), Impact Evaluation of Netherlands supported programmes in the area of Energy and Development Cooperation in Burkina Faso. RWI Projektberichte

Monographs (Author)

2011

RWI and ISS (2011), Impact Evaluation of Netherlands Supported Programmes in the Area of Energy and Development Cooperation in Burkina Faso. Den Haag: IOB. download

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