Solar energy as an alternative energy source for lighting: the case of George, Lusaka.

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Kaambo, Cosmas
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The University of Zambia
Some informal settlement dwellers use candles and kerosene for lighting. However, kerosene and candles are hazardous to health and property. Burning candles and kerosene in indoor emits toxic carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The aim of the study was to investigate factors that influence adoption of solar energy for lighting in George Settlement. The objectives of the study were to determine the extent of adoption of solar energy, to ascertain factors that lead to using solar energy and to investigate barriers to adoption of solar energy. A sample of 50 respondents from George Settlement was conveniently selected. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information. Five key informants from government institutions were purposively selected. An interview guide was used to obtain information. Results indicate that adoption rate of solar energy among respondents is very low (18 percent). This is due to; low income (average K750), high cost of solar devices and insufficient policy support. Variables of solar energy that promote adoption include: having relative advantage (98 percent) over candles and electricity, being; environmentally friendly (94 percent), compatible (92 percent), easy to use (90 percent), pre-testing (88 percent) and observable (72 percent). The major barriers to adoption of solar energy are low income among residents (90 percent), high cost of solar devices (88 percent), insufficient policy support (78 percent) and poor quality of solar devices (36 percent). The study concludes that adoption of solar energy as an alternative for lighting among respondents is very low. Factors that influence adoption are solar energy being; compatible, environmentally friendly, pre-tested, observable, and easy to use and having relative advantage. Major barriers to adoption are: low income, high cost of solar devices, poor quality of solar energy devices and insufficient policy support. It is recommended that ZDA should consider off-grid solar for job creation.
Thesis of Master of Science in Spatial Planning.