Q. What is the news?
Recently, the Government has launched the Gram UJALA Programme - an ambitious scheme offering the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas at a mere Rs. 10.
Q. What is its extent of coverage?
In its first phase launched from Arrah in Bihar, 15 million LED bulbs will be distributed across villages of 5 districts - Aarah (Bihar), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and villages in western Gujarat.
Q. Which is the implementing body?
- 7 watt and 12-watt LED bulbs with 3 years warranty will be given to rural consumers against submission of working Incandescent bulbs.
- Each household will get up to 5 LEDs.
- Participating rural households will also have metres installed in their houses to account for usage.
- The LED bulbs are offered by state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd’s (EESL’s) subsidiary Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL).
Q. What is the financing Mechanism?
- The programme will be financed entirely through carbon credits and will be the first such programme in India.
- The revenue earned from carbon credits will contribute Rs. 60 per LED bulb piece, with the balance Rs. 10 to be paid by the rural consumer.
- Carbon credit (or “carbon offsets”) are certificates generated by projects or activities that reduce, avoid, or destroy greenhouse gases.
- Project owners, such as solar and wind energy developers, or protectors of endangered forestlands can sell these certificates to an individual or a company to earn revenues to keep expanding their projects into the future.
- When one purchases carbon offsets, one is funding the reduction or elimination of carbon.
- Further on, carbon credit documentation will be sent to United Nations (UN) accredited validators for inclusion into the Shine Program of activities.
- Carbon credits will be prepared under the Shine Program of Activities with an option for verifying under the Voluntary Carbon Standard, depending on the needs of buyers.
- Carbon Credit Buyers will also be sought through an open process based on initial discussions with the market.
Q. What is its Significance?
- Help in meeting intended nationally determined contributions under paris climate accord.
- If all 300 million lights in India were replaced, the total energy savings would be 40,743 million kWh/year, avoiding peak demand of 22,743MW/year and CO2 reductions of 37 million tons per year.
- Through extra carbon credit, India will boost its position in global carbon trade.
- Boost to efforts to ensure 24-hour power supply.
- The Prime Minister of India, in his Independence Day speech of 2015, promised that all villages where electricity was yet to reach, will have power within 1,000 days.
- To create basic power infrastructure and connectivity, the government had announced a scheme - the Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana.
- Help in the growth of domestic LED markets.
- Meet the benefit of sustainable development goals (SDG).
- Specially SDG7: To ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.