{Bringing off-grid electricity to rural villages in India: Opportunities and pitfalls for solar photovoltaics}

Title{Bringing off-grid electricity to rural villages in India: Opportunities and pitfalls for solar photovoltaics}
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKathaiyan D
Conference Name2015 IEEE 15th International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering, EEEIC 2015 - Conference Proceedings
ISBN Number9781479979936
Keywordsdistributed renewable energy, India, Meerwada, Off-grid electricity, Rural electrification, solar PV
AbstractIndia with its aspiring goal of ``energy access to all{\{}''{\}}, its$\backslash$nidealistic policies and its systemic failure in meeting its growing$\backslash$nenergy demand, found itself trapped in transition towards a sound and$\backslash$nopen energy sector. Despite being the world's third largest electricity$\backslash$nproducer, around 300 million people lacks access to electricity in$\backslash$n25,722 un-electrified villages throughout the country. Majority of them$\backslash$nlive below poverty line, lack clean cooking facilities, depend mostly on$\backslash$nkerosene for lighting and diesel for irrigation. Though the$\backslash$nelectrification rates had increased considerably in the recent years$\backslash$nunder the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana and the Jawaharlal$\backslash$nNehru National Solar Mission the government has failed to achieve the$\backslash$ntarget of 100 percent electrification due to the fact, that the need for$\backslash$nelectricity is not often translated to potential demand in rural and$\backslash$nremote areas. Also the measures of providing access to electricity to$\backslash$nall did not assure a reliable qualitative power supply. Deployment of$\backslash$noff-grid solar Photo Voltaic electricity generation with a holistic$\backslash$napproach involving interactions between government, non government$\backslash$norganizations, corporate sectors and community will bring improvements$\backslash$nin economic opportunities, education, health and social welfare of$\backslash$npeople living in rural areas. This paper mainly discusses the off-grid$\backslash$nrural electrification opportunities by harnessing solar potential in$\backslash$nIndia, its challenges in terms of political, economical and technical$\backslash$ncontexts and the involved communal benefits with a case study.