The Climate Group, an international non-profit organisation, in association with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India and other industry players, organised a national summit on India’s off-grid energy sector -the India Off-Grid Summit 2015 in New Delhi today.
The opportunity of renewable energy and off-grid solutions in India is hugely significant. It can not only help connect rural communities to clean energy, but also address development and emissions reductions challenges in one of the fastest-growing countries in the world.
During his address, Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, said, “We are thankful to The Climate Group for providing a platform for the crucial discussion around renewable energy opportunities and to address the prevailing power crisis issues in India. We must look at the speed, scale and skill for the off-grid energy sector in India as we have even bigger climate and energy efficiency goals lying ahead of us. Off-grid solar solution is a vital part of India’s energy mix as making solar affordable will impact the growth of renewable energy in India in coming years.”
On the sidelines of the event US Ambassador Richard R Verma and the Secretary MNRE announced the investment of US$ 50 million for the ‘PACEsetter Fund’, to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative off-grid clean energy solutions. The Fund is the principal funding arm of Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), an initiative of the Governments of the United States and India to harness commercial enterprise and bring clean energy access to unserved and underserved individuals and communities.
Speaking about the electricity deficiency in rural India, Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group said, “40 percent of India is still not connected to the grid – a number we could eventually connect via cheaper, cleaner and more reliable renewable sources. Off-grid energy business models not only have the potential to connect millions of people in India, South Asia and other parts of the world to clean electricity, but also provide them with a platform for moving out of poverty while avoiding the carbon emissions associated with conventional development models.”
Speaking at the event, Krishnan Pallassana, India Director, The Climate Group, said, “Renewable energy will play a key role in shaping India’s long term energy future and our progression towards a decarbonised economy. We know that off-grid solutions cannot only connect the millions of rural people who still don’t have access to clean, sustainable energy, but help create a low-carbon, prosperous future with health, social and economic benefits for all.”
The Summit was organised as part of The Climate Group’s access to rural energy in India project, Bijli – Clean Energy for All, principally funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. The project aims to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and simultaneously enhance the lives of rural people in India. Bijli connects villagers in three States in India to clean, cheap solar powered micro-grids and stand-alone LED lamps and phone chargers. The project is sustainable, bringing profits to local partners involved and saving energy and money for the villages.