- Lack of energy access also limits the rural economy. Decentralised renewable energy (DRE) solutions are creating an infrastructure for rural entrepreneurs.
- DRE solutions have helped women develop small industrial units, improve their financial stability and generate employment.
- The experts participating in this episode of GigaWhat state that spreading awareness and building trust among people about DRE products, providing more access to finance to purchase DRE equipment, and creating a market and distribution network for the products are essential to ensure the success of the DRE ecosystem.
In rural India, decentralised renewable energy options – primarily solar power – are creating livelihood and business opportunities. Decentralised renewable energy systems are primarily independent of the central power grid, and the energy is generated close to its area of use. To address daily issues that arise out of lack of power, startups and organisations are creating and modifying decentralised renewable energy (DRE) solutions in India’s villages, burgeoning towns and metros.
Mongabay-India has reported on the success stories of DRE, such as the case study of a sugarcane farmer from the Karaknalli village of the Bidar district of Karnataka, installing a solar fencing machine to protect the sugarcane crop from wild boar; and also about the challenges in DRE while investigating why Dharnai village in Bihar, promoted as the first solar village of the state, went defunct.
In this episode of GigaWhat, Mongabay-India Contributing Editor and the podcast host, Mayank Aggarwal, speaks with startup founders and managers to learn the innovations happening in the DRE sector that are helping to boost the livelihoods of people in India’s hinterlands.
Manish Kumar (Staff Reporter, Mongabay-India), Ananth Aravamudan (Powering Livelihoods), Kunal Vaid (Director, Resham Sutra) and Abhishek Pathak (Founder, Greenwear) discuss the need to bring innovative DRE solutions to the market and highlight the positive impacts of the DRE ecosystem and the innovative solutions by startups, on the rural economy and livelihoods.
You are listening to Everything Environment by Mongabay-India.
Manish Kumar (MK): I visited a small village in the Nuapada district of Odisha when it was electrified for the first time, with solar energy, through a decentralised model.
Mayank Aggarwal (MA): That’s Mongabay-India staff reporter, Manish Kumar. He visited the village in 2018, the year it got an electricity connection.
The ‘decentralised model’ he referred to is a small-scale energy generation unit that delivers energy locally. In this case, a cluster of solar panels was installed in the village.
Decentralised renewable energy systems are primarily independent of the central power grid. The off-grid rooftop solar panels we see over houses are also an example of a decentralised model.
If you are listening to us from a metro, you would have several things to worry about, but electricity might not be one of them.
But imagine the things at stake due to the lack of energy access.
Education, security, healthcare and so on…
Lack of energy access also limits the rural economy. But reliable electricity creates an infrastructure for rural entrepreneurs and gives people a chance to work on their aspirations.
Decentralised renewable energy applications, or as we’ll call them in this episode, ‘DRE applications’, have done just that in several parts of rural India.
Kunal Vaid (KV): It’…….