An overwhelming 94% of Indian households with a solar home system reported significant improvements to their quality of life, with a majority citing positive impacts in the areas of safety (90%) and education (66%). One in 10 owners reported an increase in income levels by up to $66 per month on average as they are using their solar home system to light and power businesses and to unlock more work hours.
The findings are part of a new report published by GOGLA, the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry.
The Powering Opportunities in South Asia research funded by UK AID and conducted by Altai Consulting titled, surveyed 949 households in South Asia, primarily including rural customers from the Indian states of Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
A total of 12% reported increased economic activity as they can work more or use their system for business. This increase in economic activity translated to 4FTE jobs created for every hundred units of solar home systems sold.
Further, for 61% of households the solar home system is a back-up to the grid.
Off-grid solar still relevant?
Viraj Gada, GOGLA’s India Regional Representative, said, “The Powering opportunities in South Asia report shows that, even with the impressive strides made by the Indian Government to increase grid access, small-scale solar continues to have an important role for Indian households. Although a majority of customers are using their solar home systems as a back up to the central grid, the additional energy security and power the systems provide are boosting quality of life and unlocking economic opportunities for those in rural and remote areas.
“Given the huge potential for small scale solar to enhance the national electrification efforts, we urge the government to explore ways it can further support the off-grid solar industry, to help more people in rural areas to benefit from clean, affordable solar technology,” he added.