HomeRegional NewsBRICSDecentralised Renewable Energy solutions: high priority for India

Decentralised Renewable Energy solutions: high priority for India

On Thursday, India’s industry body representing the decentralised renewable energy (DRE) sector, Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN), launched its first annual overview report.

The report title, ‘State of the Sector’, highlights the sector’s progress and encourages increased public participation to scale DRE solutions.

Decentralised Renewable Energy

According to a statement from the clean network, “the report is designed to be a benchmark for the DRE sector’s performance in India (including CLEAN’s 104 members, 69 of which are last-mile energy delivery micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises).

“It also seeks to identify access to finance needs for the sector and mechanisms to address them, and to outline the ways that DRE should be integrated into existing policies to accelerate energy access.” Read more…

Key findings

Key sector findings for Fiscal Year (FY) April 2016 to March 2017 include:

  • India’s private sector DRE market leaders deployed 206 small energy grids (pico-, micro- and mini-grids); more than 92,000 solar home systems (SHS); more than 120,000 clean cookstoves for household use and 980 for institutional use; 1,300 solar water pumps, and 3.6 million solar lanterns
  • Beyond household electricity needs, 144 productive use projects (such as agricultural processing, small-scale manufacturing, ICT, cold storage) have been powered by DRE
  • Based on partial data, the total financial needs of the sector over the next three years will triple to 3.8 billion INR ($59 million) from what has already been raised. Lack of long-term, affordable debt finance remains a key barrier, requiring greater knowledge-sharing between companies and commercial lenders
  • Key sector stakeholders stressed the need to build partnerships with India’s energy distribution companies (DISCOMs) to complement grid availability through DRE and provide greater confidence to investors
  • Metrics and indicators to measure energy access need to be based on reliable and quality availability of clean cooking and electricity solutions rather than merely connections

Informative sector tool

In addition, a new platform was launched that provides holistic and contextualised evaluation of DRE enterprises in India.

The tool, dubbed DREEM, houses extensive backend data on the external business environment as well as DRE sector, and combines it with enterprise specific data to generate performance scores based on standardised metrics, the clean network explained.

“This tool has been designed to be relevant for both financial institutions as well as DRE enterprises, in order to help them with pointed analysis for strategic decision-making,” the network said in a statement.

DREEM was developed by Intellecap Advisory, and is being anchored by CLEAN.

“The innovation and entrepreneurship of the decentralized renewable energy sector in India are a critical part in building the digitised, decentralised and democratised energy system of the 21st century that India envisions”, said report author Surabhi Rajagopal.

“Private sector delivery of distributed energy access, given adequate public partnership, can help India achieve quality, reliable energy access faster, while ensuring rural economic development, energy security, and climate resilience.”

The Government of India (GoI) has set a 2019 goal for reaching 50 million new LPG connections, but long-term affordability and diverse regional cooking needs will require multiple solutions.


Featured image: Stock

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.