Solar Energy Exploitation in Rural Areas(Case: Eshgh Abad District in Neyshabour County)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Prof., Dep. of Geography & Rural Planning, University of Kharazmi

2 MA. Student in Geography & Rural Planning, University of Kharazmii

3 MA. Student in Geography & Rural Planning, Tehran University


The energy is the main power and the basic need of human being. Use of fossil fuel including
coal, oil, and gas by the industry, transportation Vehicles, and heating housing and public places
has led to environmental problems. Moreover, these resources are scarce and non renewable.
The human being has been forced to search for using new sources and renewable energies
including water, biomass, wind and solar energies. These are relatively cheap, renewable and
have not environmental pollution.
One of the devices which can use solar energy is solar water heater. Countries like China,
Turkey, Japan, Greece, Austria and Spain have good and successful experiences from using
solar water heater. United state, Italy, Canada, France and Netherland also uses solar water
heater. China is the most important country that exports solar equipment around the word, and
has many solar water heaters.
Therefore, using solar energy is not only necessary, but inevitable in the future. In fact, the
solar energy is the most useful energy in rural area. Because rural settlements are often
dispersed, and need more transportation cost if uses fossil fuels.
Using new energies in rural Area is the basic needs of sustainable development. One of the
new energies is solar energy in recent years; exploitation of solar energy has been widespread in
rural area of Neyshabour using solar water heaters. Considering the role of government on 
extension of this innovation and its developmental effects is the main aim of this paper. We will
try to show the impact of government on installation of solar water heater and its consequences
on rural areas.
Study area of the research is Eshgh Abad District in Neshabour County. 310 households have
been chosen randomly as research sample based on Cochran method. Direct observation,
interview with local people and filling a questionnaire has been the main methods of data
collection. Reliability of questionnaire has been considered by Cranach's Alpha (0.81). Validity
of questionnaire has been confirmed with comments of academic members of university, higher
education students and local experts. Collected data are analyzed based on descriptive and
inferential statistics (Regression, Kruskal - Wallis & Friedman Tests).
Results and Discussion
Climatologically the area is suitable for using solar water heater in residential areas. Now, 21.9
percent of total households are benefited from solar water heater. The research indicates that the
state has been the main factor of encouraging people to installation of solar water heater through
three ways:
a) Mortgage payments by Housing Foundation have been conditional to installation of
solar water heater. In addition, 300000 tomans has been paid for solar water heater to
the people by the housing foundation.
b) The state has encouraged and institutionalized the use of solar water heater by the
village dwellings.
c) Extension of production and repairing services by the governments and business sector
has been another reason for solar water heater initialization in the rural areas.
The above mentioned claims have been confirmed by statistical test including Regression &
Kruskal - Wallis Tests.
Data analysis using Friedman nonparametric test show that there are positive relationship
between using solar water heater and developmental indices. Use of solar water heater has led to
economic saving, and this was important for 91.2 percent of households. Use of solar water
heater has also saved the working time of villagers, because they don’t need to search for fuel
energy or clean the gas or oil water heaters. Use of solar water heater has improved the health
indicators such as bathing, brushing and grooming. All of these improvements would be take
place while the villagers have used the low quality of solar water heater due to income
Results indicate that the government has played the main role in extension of this technology by
financial and extension supports, this has led to improvement in developmental indices of the
area. Using solar water heaters has resulted in economic saving. After the installation of solar
water heaters instead of gas and oil one, a large amount of time (fuel energy materials 
transportation, cleaning problems of oil and gas water heater, etc.) has been saved, health
indicators (bathing, brushing, washing and cleaning) of households have improved, and finally
most households are satisfied from using solar water heaters. The research also depicted that
regarding the conditions of Iran, it is possible to exploit natural potentiality of the region even
with limited initiatives, and improve the life quality of people without any environmental
Therefore, it is necessary to understand inherent and natural potentiality of each region,
including optimal use of solar energy in order to achieve sustainable development in rural areas.
However, it is necessary thought that higher quality solar water heater can store energy for using
in cold months. This needs both high technology and low price which could be in accordance
with rural dwelling income.


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