Renewable energy programme in CSE started in 2012 when the sector was in the nascent stage of development. Traditionally, the focus of the programme was on improving energy access through renewable energy sources, while accommodating for environmental and social externalities. While CSE continues to peruse this, the overarching objective of the programme is now expanded to mainstream renewable energy.
CSE’s efforts are thus dedicated to ensure development and implementation of sound renewable energy policies and programmes at the national and local government level that lead to large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies in various sectors of the economy, in order to meet the twin objective of combating climate change on one hand and energy security, on the other.
Over the years, CSE has researched, written and advocated successfully for various changes in the renewable energy sector, with focus on promoting decentralised renewable energy sources to enable energy access for the poor. This includes the development of renewable energy-based mini-grids in rural areas and deployment of solar rooftop in urban areas.
CSE’s research in the sector led to the development of a first of its kind ‘State of Renewable Energy in India’ report in 2014 that gave a comprehensive view of the status of renewable energy by analyzing all the policies in the renewable energy sector. CSE has used its research to constantly engage with the government and advocate for change in the government’s policy framework. CSE was part of a committee that worked with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to draft India’s first ‘National mini-grid policy’ for rural electrification based on renewable energy. CSE was also part of the expert committee that assisted in drafting the National Renewable Energy Act that was released for public comments on July 15, 2015; over 80 per cent of the recommendations made by CSE were incorporated into the draft.
Recently in January 2019, following the rapid growth in the renewable energy sector, CSE released an updated ‘State of Renewable Energy in India’ accounting for the emerging trends and challenges, and a possible way forward. This opened new avenues of collaborative discussions and work for CSE, especially with respect to broader reforms to support RE growth.
CSE’s efforts in India to mainstream renewable energy has given direction to our global work, wherein our efforts sought building of a strong coalition to develop a common framework of incentives for renewable energy development. Currently, CSE is working in Indonesia and Tanzania to increase its renewable ambition.