Achieving India's ambitious Renewable Energy targets of 450 GW by 2030 is not easy but a task. India will require a capacity addition in distributed renewable energy (DRE) projects to fulfil its ambitions. Through this, Indian households would not depend on the energy sources like coal, natural gas and petroleum.
To make this possible, a joint initiative run by The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and Villgro, 'Powering Livelihoods' has come into existence. The initiative aims at transforming India's rural livelihoods through the application of Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE).
What Is DRE?
DRE solutions generate and distribute energy independent of a centralised electricity grid and provide a wide range of services, including lighting, cooking, space heating, consumer and productive appliances and cooling in rural and urban areas. DRE solutions benefited about 150 million people worldwide in 2019 by giving new energy access.
According to the programme team, the Powering Livelihoods programme is supported by the UK government amongst 15 other funders, enabling large-scale commercial deployments and generating evidence of impact and viability. The programme unlocks investments, financing, and policy support, not only for its enterprises but also for the DRE productive use sector.
So far, the initiative 'Powering Livelihoods' has benefitted more than 5,800 people, out of which 70 per cent are women and mitigated over 500 tonnes of CO2 from the environment by installing DRE solutions. Many users of DRE claim that it's the most acceptable, affordable, reliable and sustainable energy source.
The programme team said, "Powering Livelihoods, a CEEW-Villgro initiative, aims to boost India's rural economy by scaling up the penetration of clean energy, powered appliances for livelihoods. Over three years, the initiative will support at least five enterprises to undertake large-scale commercial deployment of their solutions and use the generated evidence to catalyse the sector."
Powering Livelihoods also assisted India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in publishing a draft policy framework to facilitate the large-scale adoption of distributed renewables for 'livelihood applications' (MNRE, 2021), through which India is likely to be the first country in the world with an explicit policy to leverage and scale DRE to boost incomes.
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