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Factors influencing households' intention to adopt solar energy solutions in Zambia: insights from the theory of planned behaviour

Sambo Zulu (School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK)
Ephraim Zulu (Construction Economics and Management, School of the Built Environment, The Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia)
Mwansa Chabala (Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, School of Business, The Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 28 May 2021

206

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined the factors that influence households’ intention to adopt solar energy solutions in Zambia. This, in view of low adoption rates of solar energy solutions even in the wake of a widespread electricity power generation deficit across sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) has plagued the region with daily electricity load shedding lasting several hours at a time. Given the vast potential for solar energy generation in the region, solar energy solutions have become an attractive option to grid-based electricity, and many households have intentions of adopting these solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the lens of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), the study surveyed adult household members in Zambia who contributed towards the household’s income. The participants were selected using the snowballing technique, which yielded a sample of 961 respondents. The results were analysed using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The results show that attitude, trust, benefits and subjective norms influence the intention to adopt solar energy solutions. Trust and benefits also influence the intention to adopt solar energy solutions indirectly through attitude. Therefore, measures aimed at increasing the adoption of solar energy solutions should focus on improving the attitude, perceived benefits, trust in the solutions and consider subjective norms.

Originality/value

The findings add to the understanding of the factors that influence the intention to adopt solar energy solutions in Zambia. Therefore, the findings can be used to inform measures aimed at improving solar energy uptake in Zambia. The study also reports on the previously unreported mediating role of attitude towards solar energy solution on the associations between perceived benefits and trust with solar energy solutions adoption intention.

Keywords

Citation

Zulu, S., Zulu, E. and Chabala, M. (2021), "Factors influencing households' intention to adopt solar energy solutions in Zambia: insights from the theory of planned behaviour", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-01-2021-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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