Willingness to adopt renewable energy as an alternative energy source among households at Mathebethi in Kwanyuswa-Ethekwini Municipality
Shamase, Phumla Hlengiwe Ayanda
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Relative energy poverty is still rife at Mathebethi, a semi-rural outskirts of industrialised Pinetown about 47 km west of Durban, eThekwini Municipality. The area is characterised by socio-economic indicators namely low revenue base, poor infrastructure, limited access to services and low economic base. Owing to its undulating terrain, households are sparsely distributed. A combination of purposive and simple random sampling design was used to investigate the dynamics of energy consumption in the area to understand the influence of socio-economic variables when households make adoption decisions regarding the type and form of energy voted favoured the household. The null hypothesis suggested no significant relationship between the two. The basis of the study is based on Von-Neumann-Morgenstern utility theory, which underlines that consumption, or buying decisions depend on affordability and willingness purchase. It pronounces that when consumers are faced with dichotomous choices, the decision made based on expected benefit of the alternative. The Probit model isolated the 23 determinants of willingness to adopt renewable energy (as outlined by the objectives of the study). Willingness to adopt, the subject of the study, is the threshold value between 0 and I . Knowledge of renewable energy, attitude of households, sources of information for renewable energy, gender of the household heads, rate of employment per households, land ownership by the households, farm size of the households, current use of crop residue by the households, monthly spending on energy (conventional) by households, monthly cost of lighting for the household and membership affiliation or social belonging were significant in the final decision to adopt renewable energy. Therefore the null hypothesis was rejected. Based on the six themes underlined by the objectives the recommendations were (a)education was needed as an intervention to assist household heads to make informed decisions regarding developing sustainable alternative energy sources,(b)knowledge develops on the first one (c)local economy must be taken into consideration (d) involvement of local heroes credibility of sources of information (e) attitude normal good (I) constrains - normative beliefs or trends took precedence over intuition. The study is undertaken to investigate the attitude of households towards renewable energy on two levels; awareness and willingness to adopt them as an alternative energy source.