Potential for investment for the decentralized renewable energy (DRE) projects in India has been estimated to be pretty high: as much as $100 billion. This is according to a newly done analysis. In fact, the findings point out what several industry experts have been calling for for the past few years: that solar and wind solutions need to be incorporated into national as well as state energy systems in a holistic manner. This will make India truly achieve self sufficiency as far as quality 24/7 electricity is concerned and ensure power for all Indian citizens.
Decentralized renewable energy primarily refers to systems which use renewable energy to store, generate, and distribute power in a basically localized way. It could include small standalone devices (advanced biomass cooking stoves or solar lanterns), integrated solar home systems (SHS) which power several devices or appliances for a household, with small generation and storage resources which feed localized or isolated distribution networks (micro-grids or mini-grids).
It is high time such green solutions become mainstream since India consumed 421 million tons of oil which is equivalent to 57 per cent thermal energy and 43 per cent electricity. Decentralized and clean energy can have the potential to contribute about 10 to 15 per cent of that amount. This would provide easier energy access to people who don’t have it. This would also contribute to poverty alleviation and reduction by providing a strong foundation for rural growth.
Around 160 million rural households, which is 20 per cent, are connected to the LPG connections. The Ujjwala Scheme also sees a decrease in kerosene use. But, 80 per cent of rural households actually burn biomass in highly inefficient and traditional stoves. This accounts for use of 450 million tons of biomass like agriculture residue, firewood, and dung cake. All these compelling reasons call for a judicious mixture of renewable energy resources such as solar and wind to provide the necessary impetus to the renewable energy sector as well as fuel development.
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