Plans for Expanding Clean Energy in India’s Villages

Hariyali Green Villages initiative aims to advance clean energy in India’s villages; Photo credit: Neha Patel, SEWA
Examining Existing Irrigation Sources in Gujarat; Photo credit: Neha Patel, SEWA
  1. Clean energy appliances for every household: While appliance ownership in most households is low, electricity expenses are significant. Through SEWA’s field staff and grassroots network, the team has worked on explaining the economics of efficient appliances and provisions of the state and national solar pumps schemes to households. Supported by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), families in each Green Village will have the option to purchase a package of energy efficient appliances such as LED lamps and high efficiency ceiling fans at significantly low cost and with overall savings on their energy bills. The appliance package also includes solar lamps to reduce expense on kerosene and provide night-time illumination.
  2. Community electric vehicles and solar appliances for livelihood: In NRDC and SEWA’s fieldwork, communities have expressed interest in clean energy solutions — such as electric three wheelers and solar-based milk chillers — that can help enhance livelihoods. But households are wary of incurring large expenditure without demonstration of successful operations. For each village, SEWA and NRDC are exploring group models of ownership for expensive livelihood appliances, such as solar pumps and working on supporting farmers interested in water-saving practices, such as micro-irrigation. Pilot implementation of electric three wheelers and other livelihood solutions will help in assessing suitability of the technology and build confidence for further investment. NRDC and SEWA are also engaging with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s AREAS initiative to bring down the cost of implementing renewable energy based livelihood solutions by aligning with national and state level incentives.
  3. Green schools and community spaces: Community spaces in many villages in India lack access to clean energy services. For the two pilot villages surveyed, there were no streetlights in either of them; and one of them had no electricity in the primary school. In addition to meeting basic energy needs, clean energy interventions in community spaces can also serve as good demonstration sites for the village. Hence, NRDC and SEWA have developed plans for a “green” school where students will be introduced at an early age to clean and efficient technologies and can learn more about them through experience. The green school will act as a demonstration site for the community and training on specific appliances for the community can be conducted at the school.
Primary School in Beraniya; Photo Credit: Madhura Joshi, NRDC

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Madhura Joshi

Madhura Joshi

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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.