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Difference between revisions of "Prospects for Electricity Access in Rural India using Solar Photo-Voltaic based Mini-Grid Systems"

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 300 million people in India without electricity, yet a favorable climate for photovoltaics<br/> Upfront capital must come from the government, as such a high investment with long-term return is not attractive to private investors<br/> Think it is important to emphasize on universal lessons learned, more than the challenges<br/> Challenges in dealing with third-party collectors within the community, lack of trust<br/> Community was given full ownership of the microgrid; “ownership transfer” is key—gives people sense of ownership over the grid to maintain it<br/>
+
 300 million people in India without electricity, yet a favorable climate for photovoltaics<br/> Upfront capital must come from the government, as such a high investment with long-term return is not attractive to private investors<br/> Think it is important to emphasize on universal lessons learned, more than the challenges<br/> Challenges in dealing with third-party collectors within the community, lack of trust<br/> Community was given full ownership of the microgrid; “ownership transfer” is key—gives people sense of ownership over the grid to maintain it
 
 
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== Q & A ==
 
== Q & A ==
  
1. How sustainable is the solar project in the villages? Furthermore, h<span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 0.85em;">ow is the project funded? Is the cost (Rs.20/kwh) the price enough for installing and maintaining?</span><br/>
+
1. How sustainable is the solar project in the villages? Furthermore, how is the project funded? Is the cost (Rs.20/kwh) the price enough for installing and maintaining?<br/>
 
*A: Village pays money only for maintenance, (Rs.20) does not cover installation cost. The first installation in Darewadi was part of a research grant, to show that if the project is community managed, the micro-grid initiatives can be very successful. The idea is that the Indian GOVT has a mandate to provide electricity to each citizen, they have 7.1 billion dollars that have been already spent on micro-grid projects and grid extensions. The key issue is adoption and sustainability of the projects, the Oorja model shows that if it is managed well, these initiatives can be successful.
 
*A: Village pays money only for maintenance, (Rs.20) does not cover installation cost. The first installation in Darewadi was part of a research grant, to show that if the project is community managed, the micro-grid initiatives can be very successful. The idea is that the Indian GOVT has a mandate to provide electricity to each citizen, they have 7.1 billion dollars that have been already spent on micro-grid projects and grid extensions. The key issue is adoption and sustainability of the projects, the Oorja model shows that if it is managed well, these initiatives can be successful.
  
 
2. What are the main chllenges to scaling up?<br/>
 
2. What are the main chllenges to scaling up?<br/>
 
*A: Technology will work but the challenge is in meeting the local needs and operational scheme to meet the local needs. <span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 0.85em;">Have to understand the local scenario. </span><span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 0.85em;">The financial component has to incorporate the international funding.</span>
 
*A: Technology will work but the challenge is in meeting the local needs and operational scheme to meet the local needs. <span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 0.85em;">Have to understand the local scenario. </span><span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 0.85em;">The financial component has to incorporate the international funding.</span>
*A: Policy is also a challenge. Growth still focused on grid connection in India. Now changing to what kind of schemes would work for entrepreneurs.
+
**Policy is also a challenge. Growth still focused on grid connection in India. Now changing to what kind of schemes would work for entrepreneurs.
*-Combination of international cooperation
+
**Combination of international cooperation
  
 
3. How do the projects enhance quality of life?<br/>
 
3. How do the projects enhance quality of life?<br/>
 
*A: Pumps work for water so women have more time
 
*A: Pumps work for water so women have more time
*A: Cook stoves
+
**Cook stoves
*A: Community consciousness with more and more projects
+
**Community consciousness with more and more projects
*A: People understand that electricity is important
+
**People understand that electricity is important
*A: Spark interest in electricity
+
**Spark interest in electricity
  
4. What should we really provide? <br/>
+
4. What should we really provide?<br/>
*A: Need to match demand with supply<br/>
+
*A: Need to match demand with supply
*A: Have to cover policy issues: what if government grid extends and then what will happen to the mini-grid?<br/>
+
**Have to cover policy issues: what if government grid extends and then what will happen to the mini-grid?<br/>
  
<span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 0.85em;">5. What is the micro grids- policy there?</span><br/>
+
5. What is the micro grids- policy there?<br/>
 
*A: Micro grids not based on renewables in place
 
*A: Micro grids not based on renewables in place
 
**The state today has failed to take electricity to all its citizens and therefore there are mini-grids
 
**The state today has failed to take electricity to all its citizens and therefore there are mini-grids
*
+
**5 or 10 rupees charged for energy and there’s an overload. The government has set the threshold too high and therefore there is over demand and the grids have failed
5 or 10 rupees charged for energy and there’s an overload. The government has set the threshold too high and therefore there is over demand and the grids have failed
+
**Diesel is more expensive and solar is more expensive than the national grid in Bangladesh.
*
 
Diesel is more expensive and solar is more expensive than the national grid in Bangladesh.
 
 
 
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__NOTITLE__
 
__NOTITLE__
  
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[[Category:Rural_Electrification]]
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[[Category:India]]
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[[Category:Mini-grid]]
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[[Category:Photovoltaic]]
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[[Category:Solar]]
 +
[[Category:Energy_Access]]
 
[[Category:Conference_Documentation]]
 
[[Category:Conference_Documentation]]
[[Category:Energy_Access]]
 
[[Category:Solar]]
 
[[Category:Photovoltaic]]
 
[[Category:Mini-grid]]
 
[[Category:India]]
 
[[Category:Rural_Electrification]]
 

Revision as of 12:02, 6 May 2014

Innovating Energy Access for Remote Areas: Discovering Untapped Resources
About the International DAAD-Alumni Summer School, Sustainable Provision of Rural RE
Programme
Participants Presentations
Speaker Presentations


Prospects for Electricity Access in Rural India using Solar Photo-Voltaic based Mini-Grid Systems

Presenters: Anshuman Lath (Gram Oorja Solutions Private Limited) and Shruti Mahajan Deorah (Goldmann School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley)

Rapporteurs: Avantika Jalan and Katie McCloskey


Overview

Solar photovoltaic (PV) based mini-grid systems have the potential to be an environmentally friendly and sustainable long term solution for electricity access in India. However, the high upfront costs of these mini-grids present policy makers, entrepreneurs and consumers alike with difficulties in financing them. Other challenges to their implementation stem from socio-economic issues and from the lack of adequate support from government agencies. We assess the potential for deploying solar PV based mini-grids to provide on demand electricity access, beyond just lighting. We describe one very high-quality installation in detail, in operation for 20 months now, that exemplifies several of the challenges involved in providing end-to-end solutions in rural India, as well as some solutions. We review the policy measures of the Indian government in the context of scaling out such innovative solutions, and argue that government must work together with entrepreneurs to create an Energy revolution akin to the Green revolution in India in the 1970s[1].
File:Experience from First Solar Mini Grid Service in Bangladesh.pdf


Issues Presented

• Observer research foundation in Mumbai –worked in the passed –Shruti
• Ladakh very remote area, northernmost part
• Largest amount of people still lacking access to electricity
• Very blessed with solar energy- the entire country
• The best practices are applicable to any energy
• Biggest challenge comes from policy and entrepreneurship- issues with tendering etc
• There is a clear mandate and will by Indian government to use sustainable electricity projects
• ;arge parts of india in markets run on diesel. They do not focus on those people believe that grd is going to reach at some point
• 39 households- small village. Just lighting solutions cannot keep mini grids sustainable. Strong community involvement: Darewadi
• Were fine without electricity, primary agriculture activities
• 30-35 year want the technology to stay to cover costs
• Mini grid transferring everything to the community
• Households use kerosene for lighting and wanted to access entertainment like in the city. Lighting means that you can always go back to kerosene therefore wanted to focus NOT only on lighting. Pumps are VERY important now (for water). Photocopy machine can run on energy and this is a discovered use of electricity
• In the very bad monsoon months there is a drop in electricity
• Have a metered connection of about 20 rupees of kw/h. but this should be enough to cover costs of batteries. Monthly bill comes every month. For the next 4-5 years it can function. Makes system sustainable
• As pumps kicked in, now the use of energy has increased and therefore can help in battery change and even generate revenue
• Quality of installation is up to utility specification and can be long term
• People in the village can connect to a wider system not just a tiny system
• Complete transfer of ownership- higher intensity of keeping care of system

• Leakage in the system if don’t sustain: battery, tariff stricture, community interaction, ownership transfer or design aspirations (not only focus on lighting)
• A lot of migration in urban center for entertainment
• 25-year period can sustain the project
• Developmental angle came into village just because of access to energy
• Average daily sunshine 3.5-4 kw of usable power per kw installed
• At least maintain micro grids for 25 years it’s a success because others have failed
• US$7 billion- the cost used to extend the grid in the country- by government
• Person trained to sustain system on day-to-day basis
• Pumping load- do not need energy backup of can push usage to the time
• Very simple installations so easily sustainable. Can get trained. The willpower is there, aspiration is there



• Creating the ecosystem required to get mini grids on the ground. If entrepreneurs are to take on the responsibility, capital costs are huge. This is an example where the conditions were viable.
• Remoteness – no market, no commercial loads – not
• Just lighting solution – there has to be designing to meet future needs – strong community involvement for remote areas.
• What are the learnings for sustaining the infrastructure roll-outs.
• Cost – significant cost on community interaction
• Transferring responsibility is key. Woman involvement in committee is very important to run. .
• Adoption – people go back to kerosene, using panels only for tv.
• Use atleast 30-40% for commercial and entertainment kept aside for electricity use.
• Tariff – metered. Still cheaper than diesel, and better than any other source.
• Battery replacement is ensured by collecting money from the village users
• Total transfer of ownership – so 100% participation. Leave the decision making to them.
• Once the pumps have kicked in, the money collection has become consistent.
• They have reduced the battery storage.
• People feel connected to the wider ecosystem.
• Social message – through inauguration ceremony – girl child lights the lamp – message is – the responsibility is yours, for future generations.



 300 million people in India without electricity, yet a favorable climate for photovoltaics
 Upfront capital must come from the government, as such a high investment with long-term return is not attractive to private investors
 Think it is important to emphasize on universal lessons learned, more than the challenges
 Challenges in dealing with third-party collectors within the community, lack of trust
 Community was given full ownership of the microgrid; “ownership transfer” is key—gives people sense of ownership over the grid to maintain it



Q & A

1. How sustainable is the solar project in the villages? Furthermore, how is the project funded? Is the cost (Rs.20/kwh) the price enough for installing and maintaining?

  • A: Village pays money only for maintenance, (Rs.20) does not cover installation cost. The first installation in Darewadi was part of a research grant, to show that if the project is community managed, the micro-grid initiatives can be very successful. The idea is that the Indian GOVT has a mandate to provide electricity to each citizen, they have 7.1 billion dollars that have been already spent on micro-grid projects and grid extensions. The key issue is adoption and sustainability of the projects, the Oorja model shows that if it is managed well, these initiatives can be successful.

2. What are the main chllenges to scaling up?

  • A: Technology will work but the challenge is in meeting the local needs and operational scheme to meet the local needs. Have to understand the local scenario. The financial component has to incorporate the international funding.
    • Policy is also a challenge. Growth still focused on grid connection in India. Now changing to what kind of schemes would work for entrepreneurs.
    • Combination of international cooperation

3. How do the projects enhance quality of life?

  • A: Pumps work for water so women have more time
    • Cook stoves
    • Community consciousness with more and more projects
    • People understand that electricity is important
    • Spark interest in electricity

4. What should we really provide?

  • A: Need to match demand with supply
    • Have to cover policy issues: what if government grid extends and then what will happen to the mini-grid?

5. What is the micro grids- policy there?

  • A: Micro grids not based on renewables in place
    • The state today has failed to take electricity to all its citizens and therefore there are mini-grids
    • 5 or 10 rupees charged for energy and there’s an overload. The government has set the threshold too high and therefore there is over demand and the grids have failed
    • Diesel is more expensive and solar is more expensive than the national grid in Bangladesh.


References

  1. Prospects for Electricity Access in Rural India using Solar Photovoltaic based Mini-Grid Systems. Leena Chandran-Wadia, Shruti Mahajan Deorah, Sameer Nair and Anshuman Lath.