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Minigrids in Rural India: A Renewable Energy Perspective



  Jan 04, 2024

Minigrids in Rural India: A Renewable Energy Perspective




Minigrids are emerging as reliable sources of renewable energy in rural areas of India, particularly where extending traditional grid networks is challenging. These small systems, often solar photovoltaic-based, can be tailored to meet local energy demands. They offer various benefits, including livelihood enhancement, healthcare access, and improved safety through well-lit streets.

However, challenges persist, such as the high cost of energy from minigrids compared to grid power, which can affect the viability of commercial activities in these areas. The article suggests the need for regulatory frameworks and public-private partnerships to address these challenges and ensure equitable energy access.

Key Points:

1. Minigrids in Rural India: Providing reliable power through small, localized renewable energy systems.
2. Challenges Faced: High energy costs and the need for more sustainable and affordable solutions.
3. Potential Solutions: Regulatory frameworks and public-private partnerships for better energy access and cost parity.

Facts on Minigrids in Rural India

1. Minigrid Growth: Over 14,000 minigrid projects operational in India as of 2019.
2. Technology: Predominantly solar photovoltaic-based systems, often with storage options.
3. Private Sector Involvement: Many minigrids are developed and operated by private companies, bringing innovative technologies for reliable power.
4. Impact on Communities: Minigrids facilitate improved healthcare, education, and income generation in rural areas.
5. Challenges: Sustainability and affordability issues, including high tariffs charged by operators.
6. Regulatory Needs: The absence of a regulated domain for minigrid tariffs.
7. Energy Cost Disparity: Minigrid consumers often pay significantly higher rates than grid-connected consumers.
8. Government Initiatives: Installation of off-grid solutions in 15 Indian states under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana scheme.
9. Proposed Solutions: Public-private partnerships, competitive bidding processes, and regulatory attention to optimize tariffs and operations.

SRIRAM’s


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