The Economics of Residential Solar Water Heaters in Emerging Economies: The Case of Turkey

Published in Energy Economics
Energy efficiency

In many emerging economies, household consumption of polluting solid fuels is still very high. We study the economics of one specific clean energy appliance that has been an important alternative for solid fuels in many developing countries: solar water heaters. Using a dataset including detailed information for around 23,000 Turkish households, 61% of which still use solid-fuel stoves, we first examine the determinants of the adoption of solar water heaters. We document that income, education, geographical location and the type of space heating system are important factors driving the adoption of solar water heaters. Analyzing the energy consumption of households, we find that total household energy consumption is reduced by around 13% when a solar water heater is present. Relating their presence to housing market outcomes, we document that the perceived value of owner-occupied homes increases by 6%, and find a three percent rent premium in the rental housing market.



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