With 65% of its population in rural areas, India remains a highly agricultural country. Yet post-harvest losses amount to approximately US$13 billion annually. Emerging agricultural technologies powered by decentralized renewables show promise for farmers but require new deployment strategies.
Productive use of energy solutions leveraging decentralized renewable energy show promising potential for smallholder farmers to increase yield, however, DREs require different deployment strategies. India’s solar water pump experience provides valuable insights for other emerging technologies.
Solar-powered machinery in off-grid and weak-grid areas could improve food security and create new employment opportunities. However, commercial maturity remains hindered due to high capital costs. Greater deployment of capital is needed.
Agriculture is 2-4 times more effective at reducing poverty than other sectors, according to the World Bank. In this new booklet, we have brought together the clearest data points articulating the direct relationship between decentralized energy access and agriculture productivity and food security.
In Uganda, research shows that electrifying agricultural activities can bring additional income for smallholder farmers. However, agro-processing activities are yet to be integrated into distributed renewable energy systems’ load due to various technical and commercial constraints.
Our Platform for Energy Access Knowledge (PEAK) compiled a two-page overview of the socio-economic impact of COVID on the energy access sector, and highlights how some countries are responding by leveraging recent advances in decentralized renewables.
Mini-grids productive use of energy in agriculture holds great promise to rural economic development in Africa. However, to ensure long term economic viability, mini-grid developers should build a strong understanding of agricultural practices and adapt project design to the local context.
In 2016, Power for All in partnership with the Sierra Leone government launched a market-based Energy Revolution which identified and removed barriers to growing the decentralized renewable energy sector and led to significant impacts.
Using its integrated, evidence-based campaign approach, Power for All has used communications and data since 2017 to shift the narrative on the importance of mainstreaming decentralized renewable energy in India and going “beyond energy access”.
According to a new report by Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy, despite improved access to electricity in India's rural Jharkhand state, affordability, quality and reliability challenges persist. Even when connections are given for free, 10% of the population still choose to stay unconnected.
Power for All's new technology spotlight provides the latest market insights for emerging applications that unlock productivity through decentralized renewable energy. First up: watering crops.
The impacts of renewable energy mini-grids extend far beyond high quality electricity access, providing rural communities with employment, increases in household savings and micro-enterprise revenue, and improved health, education and safety.
Demand stimulation through appliance financing helps balance the load profile of mini-grids and increase capacity utilization, both keys to their long-term sustainability. US$1.3 billion of appliance financing is needed by 2030.
A study by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) shows how through cost reductions, rural mini-grids can quickly scale as a commercially viable business model to provide access to millions of people and businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.
A huge shortage of capital for the sector remains, with just a decade left to achieve SDG7. And most money is concentrated in a small number of companies while ignoring most high-impact countries. What solutions are needed?
Decentralized renewable energy can have a major impact on SDGs in Nigeria, when looking at education, business productivity or emissions. Nearly 2/3 of medium- and small-enterprise in off-grid and weak grid areas can reap the rewards of DRE.
The value of decentralized renewable energy has never been greater in helping to make lives better for children: half a million premature deaths occur for children under 5 due to inadequate energy; 65% of sub-Saharan African primary schools are without power.
Diesel is not the only fossil fuel being displaced by decentralized renewables. Kerosene is also fading. Yet governments continue to prop up dirty sources of energy despite clear benefits of switching. In India, data from IISD show that decentralized renewables made up only 1.2% of renewable energy subsidies and 0.12% of total energy subsidies, amounting to just US$27.6 million in 2017.
Globally, the off-grid renewable energy industry is expected to create at least 4.5 million direct jobs by 2030.
Off-grid appliances are appliances that can operate in resource-constrained settings, or that are designed to operate in off-grid energy systems such as low-voltage DC solar home systems or on AC/DC mini-grids. In this joint CLASP, Energy for Access Coalition and Power for All synthesis, we draw on three new reports to provide the most up-to-date data on off-grid appliances – their demand, markets, impacts and consumer behavior.
DRE can help communities to adapt to a fast changing global climate and become more resilient in the face of such disasters. Brazil and Zambia--both countries that rely heavily on large hydropower--experienced constraints on electricity supply due to severe droughts in 2015. The problem is not restricted to hydropower since thermal-electric power plants also consume large amounts of water for generation.
Fact Sheet Booklet: Powering the SDGs Generated by PEAK, a new booklet brings together the clearest data points on the Energy Access Dividend, looking at the direct relationship between decentralized energy access and some of the most critical SDGs.
India has seen rising investment in mini-grids, which can help accelerate India’s universal energy access goals. In our second fact sheet on India mini-grids, we explore the different business models being deployed in India, with their successes and challenges.
As one the world’s leading mini-grid markets, India can scale the role of private rural utilities to help meet domestic and international energy access challenges. In the first of two fact sheets, we look at the current state of the Indian mini-grid sector and the challenges it faces.
Decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions are helping millions of school children reach their potential. With many students still studying without light or electricity at school and at home, DRE solutions are critical to improving literacy and keeping children in the education system.
One billion people are served by health clinics lacking electricity, while homes without power turn to dangerous candles or toxic kerosene lamps for lighting. Adopting clean energy technologies reduces the risk of fires and accidents, reduces indoor air pollution and powers life-saving equipment. Health-related development targets will not be met without decentralized renewables.
Clean, distributed energy is proving a powerful tool for delivering water for drinking and agriculture, and can also help bring sanitation to the billions living without a toilet. As we approach World Water Day on March 22, take a look at why energy and water access are intimately linked.
From the aftermath of hurricanes in Haiti and Puerto Rico, to flooding in India and the communities fleeing conflict in Syria and Myanmar, decentralized renewables are increasingly proving themselves as a powerful way to help vulnerable communities, including the 60 million refugees worldwide, gain access to electricity and related services.
DRE solutions can aid subsistence and low-income farmers to increase outputs, create savings, and allow for increased income for spending on more nutritious food.
The body of evidence is growing to show that decentralized renewables play an important role in putting more money into the pockets of poor households and farmers, both by allowing them to switch from fossil fuels and also by creating new business opportunities. One estimate is that $40 billion in savings would result annually from replacing kerosene and candles with solar.
Energy poverty is not gender-neutral: women bear the heaviest burden. Distributed renewable energy can not only empower women economically and socially as end users, but the sector itself can hugely benefit by integrating women across the value chain as designers, educators, trainers, managers, and entrepreneurs.
Two new reports from the World Bank - the Global Tracking Framework 2017 and the Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) - give a snapshot of where we stand in the fight against electricity poverty. The verdict: we've got a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time to do it in. So instead of having to read a combined 500 pages, our PEAK research team pulled together a 2-page summary, with a dash of perspective. The clock is ticking, so get reading.
Over 1.2 billion people worldwide live in energy poverty, yet many governments are missing key opportunities to use targets and policies to catalyze rural electrification and rapidly increase access to decentralized renewable energy solutions.
Kerosene lamps and oil-based generators are some of the most polluting power sources in the world—with small diesel gensets creating 2x as much CO2 as coal plants per kWh, and kerosene lights emitting 240 million tons of toxic black carbon—equal to the emissions of 80 coal power plants.
This month, we begin the first in a series of "Powering Development" Fact Sheets to profile the wide-ranging impacts of distributed renewables.
One of the main barriers to energy access is affordability. Decentralized renewable technologies are bringing clean energy to millions of people at a fraction of the cost.
Energy underpins progress, and is critical for achieving every one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet at the current rate—and with traditional power plants taking years to build—universal energy access could take until 2080. Rapidly deployable decentralized renewables can help reach energy goals much faster.
Power for All is working with the University of California Berkeley on the PEAK—Platform for Energy Access Knowledge—initiative which is breaking down the latest data on energy access into easily shareable statistics and insights.