India has made significant progress in improving electricity access for more than 500 million people over the last two decades. Despite the significant increase in electrification of homes, electricity access continues to be a challenge for the rural health, education, agricultural and livelihood sectors. Several public schools, public health centres, anganwaadis, community health clinics, small shops and businesses, and agricultural sector needs remain unelectrified or under-electrified. Many of those that are electrified, often get intermittent and unreliable supply and rely on expensive diesel generators. Expensive and unreliable electricity restricts the possibility of socio-economic development outcomes.
The government of India has committed a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, and 450 GW by 2030. There is a great opportunity to link the unmet and under-met electricity demand, with the achievement of these renewable energy targets. Decentralized energy solutions could provide a significant opportunity to power remote and rural schools, healthcare, and livelihood facilities.
Adequate markets and institutional arrangements, access to finance, an enabling policy and regulatory environment and capacity building measures can support the efforts of the government to reach these last miles.
WRI India’s energy program works to fuel the growth of sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity for all through:
Research and analysis- We are strong collaborators – with strengths in data, analysis, research, and implementation. We identify barriers to enhance energy access and uptake of distributed renewable energy solutions integrated with energy efficiency measures. The aim is to identify solutions to overcome these through on-ground research and bottom-up data collection.
Building the Evidence- Our end-user demand focus complements the traditional supply side focus of the sector. We develop tools, methods and frameworks to create enabling conditions to support scaled-up access to distributed renewable energy solutions, especially in rural and underserved areas. We provide evidence from research on the ground to support in decision making at the national and sub-national levels.
Stakeholder engagement- We believe in the power of partnerships, and invest in bottom-up process to complement top-down efforts to engage with stakeholders. We work with development institutions, governments, energy enterprises, investors and the civil society to build capacity and support sustainable, affordable and reliable energy access solutions that alleviate poverty and promote development.
Energy for Development
WRI India’s energy program supports access to sustainable, affordable and reliable energy for development services in rural and underserved areas in states like Assam, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. We are exploring how energy access can lead to better socio-development outcomes such as better health, quality education and improved livelihood opportunities to alleviate poverty and promote development.
We strive to mainstream the socio-economic development outcomes in energy access planning and integrate energy access considerations in planning for development programs, across stakeholder categories. In areas with high climate vulnerability, we look at the role of energy access in building resilience by reducing sensitivity and improving adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities. We work on the following areas to cross-learn, co-develop programs and take evidence-based decisions to achieve impact at scale:
Clean Energy Technology: We demonstrate the potential of technology in meeting energy access needs through pilot projects with our development partners by assessing the energy needs, identifying right-sized energy solutions, supporting implementation of the solutions and evaluating the impacts.
Clean Energy Financing: We work with stakeholders to build a supportive ecosystem for financing energy solutions by mapping the right funding sources to the partners and helping in developing proposals.
Data and Learning: Our interventions should be informed by systematic evidence that also provides insight into the scaling potential of such energy interventions. To this end, we write case studies and other knowledge sharing products help key stakeholders learn and make better informed decisions to meet energy access gaps.
We are committed to working towards the achievement of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating awareness about the need for energy (SDG 7) in achieving the different goals, such as SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), SDG 4 (Quality education), SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), and SDG 13 (Climate action).
Case studies: Jharkhand Energy Access Stories
India’s electricity access story is constantly evolving. In the recent years, we have witnessed a significant policy impetus from both the central and state governments to enhance energy access across the country. The need of the hour is reliable access to electricity where the demand is generated and guaranteed supply to those who need it, including, health facilities, schools, livelihoods centers, farmers, etc.
Jharkhand, in eastern India is endowed with significant mineral resources, an extensive forest cover, and a vibrant civil society and government that is committed to the state’s development. Access to sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity is a critical input to ensure effective service delivery in the healthcare, education, agriculture and livelihood sectors.
We have documented extraordinary stories of initiatives and efforts by organisations working with rural communities in Jharkhand to address their need for sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity access using decentralized renewable energy solutions.
This is part of an engagement by WRI India, Transform Rural India Foundation and Forum for the Future to spread awareness about these inspirational initiatives and to initiate a dialogue on opportunities to scale such efforts to achieve socio-economic development through provision of sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity for all.
We acknowledge the efforts of individuals, the government and NGOs to enhance electricity access, and thank stakeholders who have generously shared their efforts for the purposes of this project.
This work is supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation seeks to facilitate India’s transition to a sustainable energy future by aiding the design and implementation of policies in the following areas: clean power, energy efficiency, sustainable urban transport, climate change mitigation and clean energy finance.
Jharkhand Energy Access Stories (English)Powering a rain-dependent farmer community with reliable solar irrigation Community-managed micro-irrigation systems: Public investment for energy access Reliance on alternate energy sources to power distant and digital education during the pandemic Solar PV is powering critical healthcare loads during a pandemic in remote areas of Jharkhand Sustainable and reliable electricity can enhance the services provided by primary healthcare and build public’s trust in these facilities A portable solar powered solution to irrigate fields Powering women’s livelihoods and building a community’s resilience to the pandemic with solar energy Value-addition to harvested crop through a women-led electricity access initiative The RACE (Rural Access to Clean Energy) to deliver sustainable energy for all Reliable electricity in facilities is a critical input to handle emergencies
Jharkhand Energy Access Stories (Hindi)वर्षा आधारित कृषि पर निर्भर किसानों का सौर ऊर्जा सिंचाई सुविधा के जरिये सशक्तीकरण समुदाय द्वारा संचालित लघु सिंचाई प्रणालियां : सतत ऊर्जा के लिये सार्वजनिक निवेश कोविड-19 महामारी के दौरान दूरस्थ और डिजिटल शिक्षा के लिए वैकल्पिक ऊर्जा स्रोतों पर निर्भरता कोविड-19 महामारी के दौरान सोलर पीवी झारखंड के सुदूर इलाकों में एक महत्वपूर्ण स्वास्थ्य केंद्र को बिजली दे रहा है निर्बाध और भरोसेमंद बिजली मिलने से प्राथमिक स्वास्थ्य केन्द्र के सेवाओं में वृद्धि हो सकती है और ऐसे केन्द्रों पर लोगों का भरोसा भी बढ़ सकता है खेतों की सिंचाई के लिए सौर ऊर्जा रूपी समाधान सौर ऊर्जा से महिलाओं की आजीविका को मिली शक्ति महिलाओं की नेतृत्व वाली पहल से हुआ काटी गई फसल का मूल्यवर्धन रेस (रूरल एक्सेस टू क्लीन एनर्जी) : सभी लोगों को निर्बाध बिजली आपूर्ति उपलब्ध कराने की पहल आपात स्थितियों से निपटने के के लिये स्वास्थ्य केन्द्रों में निर्बाध बिजली आपूर्ति बेहद जरूरी
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