Clean Energy Access for Improving Livelihoods in India

Co-Authored with Sameer Kwatra

NRDC is partnering with the Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN) for the India Energy for All Summit (IEAS) in New Delhi this week. The Summit brings together stakeholders to identify strategies for expanding Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) in India and help achieve the country’s goals of providing reliable clean energy access to all its people.

Installing Solar Energy in Rural India Helps Improve Livelihoods, SEWA

India has made huge strides in improving electricity connections to households since 2000. However, the use of energy services remains limited. According to a 2019 study, average electricity demand for rural households in Odisha, UP, Bihar, and Rajasthan is only 39 kWh per month-which is about half the national average. Electricity demand for rural enterprises is also low. Some of the reasons for low demand are low appliance penetration; gaps in reliability and adequacy of supply; and affordability.

DRE solutions can help bridge these gaps, improve quality and efficiency of delivery, and boost rural electricity demand while creating jobs. Demonstrated case-studies highlighted by CLEAN show that DRE appliances can help improve use of energy services and rural livelihoods with the right framework.

SEWA-NRDC-CLEAN Collaboration

With our partner the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), we are developing and implementing pilot clean energy plans in two villages — Beraniya, in Dungarpur district, Rajasthan, and Naganomath, in Arvalli district, Gujarat — with the aim to have scalable frameworks for other areas. The clean energy plans will bring together government programs, green village innovations, clean energy appliances, and financial solutions. At the same time, a deeper engagement with all stakeholders is required to design solutions which suit the local conditions and meet the needs of the households.

At the India Energy Access Summit, NRDC, SEWA, and CLEAN announced that they will collaborate on developing technical, financial, market and skill development, and policy linkages to enable the implementation of Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) based livelihood solutions.

Comprehensive solutions developed based on community needs and inputs can help usher in rural clean energy transitions in India.

Detailed agenda of the India Energy Access Summit is available here.

Sameer Kwatra is Climate and Clean Energy Expert, NRDC India Program.

Originally published at https://www.nrdc.org on February 4, 2020.

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Climate and clean energy expert. Currently, Senior Associate at E3G, leading the work on India’s energy transitions. Previously with NRDC, CPR, and TERI.

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Madhura Joshi

Climate and clean energy expert. Currently, Senior Associate at E3G, leading the work on India’s energy transitions. Previously with NRDC, CPR, and TERI.