With close to 250 million Indians not connected to the discom grid or able to reliably access electricity, DRE-based minigrids are an effective solution to meet citizens’ electricity needs. Shakti supported Okapi Research and Advisory to identify solutions for integrating minigrids with the utility grid. Minigrids can provide clean and reliable power using locally available resources.
This report provides a detailed analysis of the financing needs of off-grid enterprises across various stages and business models, taking into account the needs of important stakeholders such as off-grid energy access enterprises, product manufacturers, and micro and minigrid players. The report also presents the challenges faced by enterprises in raising capital from the traditional source of finance sources and highlights the need for alternate financing facilities. In an attempt to close this gap, the report draws upon international research and intensive stakeholder analysis, to design and present alternate financing solutions for off-grid enterprises.
Government policies to meet electricity and non-electricity energy needs in rural India have had a limited impact. Policy and decision-makers in the Government are needed to be informed about the performance of existing energy delivery mechanisms so that are able to take corrective action. With this in mind, Shakti supported a project for developing energy access indicators for six energy-deprived states of the country namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal. The project draws insights from data acquired from primary surveys of 8566 households across 714 villages in six states. The multi-dimensional and multi-tiered indices developed capture the state of access to modern cooking energy and electricity in India, and identifies bottlenecks that cause energy deprivation. These findings will be used to make recommendations to the Government, provide insights for policy analysis and design, and will be disseminated among rural energy service companies to enable them to access markets more effectively.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) was keen on exploring implementation models to leverage existing and planned programmes of the Government of India and the State governments on water supply, irrigation, electricity access and livelihoods so as to expand the scope of its solar agriculture pump program. In this regard, Shakti provided technical assistance to MNRE for formulating guidelines on solar agriculture pump models for states. The report proposes five implementation models that vary based on the funding source, subsidy structure and implementing agency. It also contains tools that may be very useful programme design, monitoring and evaluation, and communication.
The Energy Entrepreneurship Incubation Programme (EEIP) was designed to build a pool of micro energy entrepreneurs who could invest in decentralized renewable energy solutions. The programme is expected to find solutions to plug a key gap - non-existence of an organized rural energy sales, distribution and service chain. EEIP operated in five districts of Bihar to train 175 potential candidates to sensitize them on rural energy market opportunities specifically around technology, operations, financing and enterprise creation aspects. The programme identified 13 candidates and assisted them to set up energy enterprises which included 9 individuals and 4 village institutions. Some of the enterprises established include solar charging stations, solar mini-grids and solar products retailing.
This paper serves as an introduction to the series. It provides an overview of the DRE sector, the technologies it employs, the features of these solutions, and their relevance for India.
Decentralized renewable energy (DRE) is seen to have enormous potential to address energy access gaps in India, but the sector’s growth has been constrained by numerous factors, including the lack of skilled manpower for critical functions. To date, the approach to address this shortfall has been to devise training programme in DRE. While there is no doubt that skills development through training is important, a systematic approach to address the labour void in DRE faces two challenges. The first is a lack of understanding of the employment needs and prospects of the DRE sector, and the second is gaps in the way DRE training is currently being provided.
Provision of clean cooking energy in India is a big challenge. The paper discusses clean cooking by identifying and deliberating important themes such as technology choice, product design, market development, affordability, financing, fuel management and policies.