Urjaa Samadhan - Towards Self-Sustaining Solar Economies in Orissa , India
Presenter: Anna Harnmeijer, Vijay Bhopal, Jamie Cross, Debajit Palit, Prasanta Biswa, Sagar Mahapatra and Jelte Harnmeijer
| Urjaa Samadhan is a collaborative project that commenced in April 2014, and aspires to contribute to the resilience of rural off-grid renewable energy ecosystems in Orissa, India. This paper aims to summarise the delivery rather than research aspects. Broadly speaking, Urjaa Samadhan aims to empower communities in Orissa to take control and ownership of renewables infrastructure by leveraging the latent potential of local and regional technical and supply chain capacity. It seeks to do this by facilitating engagement between end-users on the one hand, and relevant ‘providers’ – parts and service suppliers and NGO's – on the other. Specifically, our project seeks to pilot a unified messaging platform service with a web-map interface designed to achieve a step change in end-user – provider engagement in the fledgling off-grid renewables sphere in Orissa. The Urjaa Samadhan Gateway will be designed to facilitate user requests and supplier provision for parts and services, and will accommodate technology-specific system faults and failures for the full range of solar PV technologies currently installed in South and North-East Orissa. The Gateway will be pilotted in Koraput and Mayurbhanj districts in conjunction with a credit scheme and a technical training programme for local parts and service providers. Pending a successful pilot, the potential exists to tailor the gateway for other renewable technologies, and expand functionality beyond the notification of simple technology failure towards financial-, user rated product and service quality-, and waste collection information. Our hope is that Urjaa Samadhan contributes to increasing transparency and reducing information asymmetries and transaction costs that are currently preventing the development of functional rural renewables markets.
Anna Harnmeijer, Vijay Bhopal, Jamie Cross, Debajit Palit, Prasanta Biswa, Sagar Mahapatra and Jelte Harnmeijer: Micro Perspective for Decentralized Energy (MES) 2015, Bangalore, India.