The Government of India is closing on its ambitious goal of electrifying 100% of households. The achievement of this milestone will be significant for India as it holds the potential for accelerating positive development outcomes, especially across the rural parts of the country. The next frontier on electrification – as identified by the government – is of guaranteeing all electrified households’ access to quality, reliable and affordable power for all; the 24X7 Power for All initiative – jointly undertaken by the national and state governments – is a step in that direction.
Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE) solutions present a huge opportunity for a further push, in that direction. It holds the potential to complement government efforts in providing meaningful energy access, which goes beyond connectivity to meet critical quality metrics deemed necessary for fulfilling rising rural aspirations and spurring socio-economic development.
DRE – India’s big opportunity for accelerating clean energy access and rural economy
In many pockets of the country, DRE has been key in providing clean electricity to un-served rural households. It has also benefited under-served areas that are connected to the national grid but do not enjoy a regular supply of electricity. If DRE is tied into national and state-level energy master plans, it can supplement the capacity of local distribution companies in a clean and sustainable way, as opposed to the traditional use of polluting fuels such as kerosene that are used extensively for meeting even basic lighting needs.
The integration of DRE with the grid also supports distribution companies in cutting technical losses that result from supplying electricity to remote areas in rural India. Better still, DRE is gradually seeing a shift towards business models that promote productive and commercial applications, fitting in perfectly with the government’s bid to augment rural livelihoods.
Read more at The Climate Group