The New MNRE Minister should focus on Solar PV Microgrids to pull out 300 Million Indians from darkness
While there are lot of expectations from Modi Government to provide the jobs and better infrastructure facilities in the rural India. We believe that If Modi government can focus on the promotion of solar PV microgrids, it will not only bring out over 300 rural Indians who are forced to live in darkness due to unavailability of electricity, but can also create millions of Jobs to the rural Indians right at their doorstep.
Micro grids will enable solar power generation at the village level in the form of 100-200 kW capacity and will relieve the main grid from the electricity supply through which about one third is lost in the T&D losses. It will also offset the fuel fossil consumption in the diesel power pump-sets. The global market for microgrids is about $10billion per year, which will grow to $40billion by 2020. THe declining PV module cost has made it affordable to rural India and can relieve the government’s investment in large coal based power generation.
Many startups such as Mera Gao Power have already started their operation in rural areas to provide the localised solar electricity to as low as 20 customers through installation of PV plants at a central location. Mera Gao’s customers pay about 100 rupees and receive enough electricity to power two LED lights and a mobile phone charger for seven hours a night. A report by World Resources Institute and the Center for Development Finance estimates that the market for microgrids in India and other clean energy consumer products could reach $2.1 billion annually.
If government support these independent actions in the form of a policy driven action, it will not only take solar power to villages, but also create millions of Jobs to the unskilled or semi skilled rural Indians who will be able to earn their bread and butter right at their village level.