Assessing the Feasibility of Solar applications in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Rural India

Undertaken By: The Energy and Resource Institute,    Recent Publication: 2021

Around 63.4 million unincorporated non-agricultural micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are estimated to be engaged in various economic activities in India, contributing to 29% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) and employing nearly 111 million people. Microenterprises alone constitute more than 99% of the entire MSME sector. The central and state governments have been rolling out relevant policies and schemes periodically to enhance and improve the infrastructure, technology, financing, and institutional support for the growth of MSMEs. But another critical factor that determines productivity and competitiveness in the sector is the access to steady and reliable sources of energy. While the Suabhagya scheme has succeeded in connecting regions across India to the grid, the quality and reliability of the power supply continues to be a hurdle.

To this end, this report presents the results of a field study to explore the feasibility and potential of solar PV applications in the MSME sector in rural India. The objective of this study is to identify 8–10 micro- and home-based enterprise clusters, develop a roadmap for solar PV intervention in the feasible clusters, and influence evidence-based policymaking for scale up.