Round table deliberates on issues related to energy access

Even with the Pradhan MantriSahajBijliHarGharYojana certain sections of the rural population are yet to be electrified from the grid. In the absence of quality and reliable electricity, it is challenging to improve healthcare, education, women's development, and livelihood generation. Despite being a generation surplus, low levels of consumption in rural areas due to these gaps and resulting dependence on diesel presents a paradoxical situation. Rural businesses are opting for solar mini-grid connections and rooftop systems to improve productivity, increase revenues and create competence in the market. However, the question arises, how can we replicate this success to effectively ensure that our goals of universal access to clean and reliable energy are fulfilled?

In 2021-22, CSE carried out extensive secondary research and stakeholder consultations with participants from India, Africa, and South Asia. A two-volume report on mini-grids, which incorporated the discussions, has been published online.

In continuation, CSE organized a virtual round table on 14th Oct 2022 to draw up an action plan for the below-mentioned reasons:

  • Achievement of long-term sustainability plan on mini-grids capacity utilization
  • For bringing together grid-connected or grid-interactive mini-grids developers, Discoms, and consumers
  • Narrowing the skill gaps in DRE, Mini-grid employment landscape
  • Managing Mini-Grids to ensure low-cost energy access to the poor 

Speakers included Balwant Joshi, Founder and MD, Idam Infrastructure, Dr Srinivas Shroff, Consultant, UNDP, Shweta Kulkarni, Fellow, Prayas Energy Group, Pune and Satya Prakash Choubey, Director (Program Implementation), Smart Power, India.

The round table was open for participation for relevant officials, mini-grid experts, and energy access practitioners from India.