Not just income: The enabling role of institutional confidence and social capital in household energy transitions in India
Transitioning to cleaner forms of cooking energy is a key facet of sustainable development. Despite numerous programs, the transition in developing countries remains slow and sometimes non-existent. Even when cleaner sources of cooking energy are adopted, their use is often temporary, with households continuing to use traditional energy sources. While literature identifies the importance of affordability and access, factors such as trust in local institutions and social capital remain under-explored. We aim to fill this gap by using household-level panel data to estimate drivers of clean cooking technology adoption and sustained fuel use in India. We add to the current scholarship on determinants of household energy transition by analyzing the relationship between household energy choices and institutional factors and social capital. We employ a logistic regression analysis to examine stove technology adoption, and complement it with an ordinary least squares model to measure factors that drive sustained fuel usage. The results indicate that participation in local community organizations and trust in local government is positively related to both adoption of stove technologies and expenditure on liquefied petroleum gas. Female education and membership in women-led networks also play an important role in driving fuel adoption. Policies aimed at promoting transitions to cleaner cooking fuels should, therefore, leverage community and social networks to promote sustained fuel use. Any national programs should be anchored in local contexts and involve local actors.
Anmol Soni, Anomitro Chatterjee, Not just income: The enabling role of institutional confidence and social capital in household energy transitions in India, Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 98, 2023, 103020, ISSN 2214-6296, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2023.103020.