Solar Microgrids in Rural India: Policy and Market Analysis
This research represents the practicum requirement for the MS degree, and is being done for a client, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India. The objective of this research is to explore the solar minigrid sector and the implications of consumer decision-making processes on policy and the future electricity market. The willingness to pay (WTP) of electricity consumers exposed to solar minigrid systems in rural Uttar Pradesh, India is evaluated through the results of a choice experiment. Data were collected from 216 households in four districts, and results are expected to indicate that consumer preference for electricity is based most significantly on (in order of strength of preference) power, reliability, and low price. Using an Agent Based Model, the impact of these preferences on the customer retention and defection rate of minigrid companies is studied.