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A shift from energy access to development is transforming the decentralized renewable energy market in India: CLEAN

A new report by Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN) shows that the decentralized renewable energy (DRE) sector in India continues to see growth in enhancing energy access, especially in rural communities where it is experiencing maximum impact thereby aiding economic and social growth.

Policymakers in Nigerian states report growth in DRE markets, seek increased cooperation

In December 2018, Power for All concluded -long Scaling Off-Grid Energy project which it co-implemented with FHI360 funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Power Africa. The project objective was to reduce the number of un-electrified people in Nigeria by increasing their access to modern, clean and affordable electricity through decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions.

Konexa: seeding the integrated utility future

In partnership with DFID, USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation, Shell Foundation (SF) started to identify integrated distribution models predicated on partnerships with existing utilities, public sector backing and a customer value proposition for access to 24/7 reliable power for all, irrespective of location and income levels.

Scaling mini-grids: what African countries can learn from each other

It is estimated that by the year 2030, mini-grids will be providing electricity to as many as 500 million people around the world – a huge boost from the current 47 million people across 134 countries who are served by about 19,000 mini-grids. While most of the current mini-grids are deployed in Asia, Africa has the largest share of the 210,000 planned mini-grids by 2030.

World Bank: main grid subsidy up to 2x mini-grids

In a new report, the World Bank concluded that subsidies per connection for small, private rural utilities called mini-grids are often significantly less than subsidies received by the large, public main grid.

Forbes: Renewable Energy Provides Growing Source Of Skilled Jobs For Africa And Asia

James Ellsmoor writes on how delivering rural electrification using distributed renewable energy (DRE) can put a serious dent in joblessness, in particular for youth and women.

Mini-grids show momentum, but donors largely missing

After almost a decade of struggling to hone business models, access finance and gain political backing, mini-grids appear to finally be ready for scale.

Risk-Pooling Initiative Strives to Unlock Commercial Investment in African Mini-Grids

Green Aggregation Tech Enterprise aims to prepare off-grid energy financing for a self-sustaining future in Africa that involves all types of funding, including commercial lending.

Reimagining utilities as a way to end energy poverty

If the world is to provide electricity to all by 2030, utilities and off-grid renewable energy providers must join forces

Transforming rural electrification with remote monitoring

The remoteness and complexity of off-grid energy systems can pose substantial operational challenges. Implementing remote monitoring and management offers concrete cost reduction and reliability. IoT can enable electrification across rural regions​ with smart, renewable energy to support economic development.

Beyond access: elevating the DRE narrative

The decentralized renewable energy (DRE) sector is entering a new phase, one that goes “beyond access” and instead focuses on co-benefits, dividends, outcomes, improved livelihoods, productive uses -- whatever term you prefer -- that both satisfy consumer aspirations, but also power rural economies.

Energy access means jobs in Zambia: new data

Governments and donors in sub-Saharan Africa that adopt coordinated approaches to electrifying rural communities using distributed renewables can count on meaningful job creation, according to recent data from REEEP in Zambia.

NGO partners join hands in 25x25 collaborative to accelerate market transformation

Four organizations committed to accelerating universal electricity access – Hivos/ENERGIA, Power for All, Practical Action, and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation – recognize that the level of ambition and urgency for achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 is far from what's needed to deliver modern, affordable, sustainable and reliable energy for all before 2030.

Transitioning energy, creating green jobs in Myanmar

Mee Panyar is helping villages in rural Myanmar transition from diesel to solar power through training programs to support electricians operating mini-grids. This decreases household electricity prices by up to 50%, reduces carbon emissions by 60%, and creates opportunity for productive uses.

Wanted: #1000solutions... Apply Now

The Solar Impulse Foundation, started by Dr. Bertrand Piccard following his successful round-the-world solar flight, has launched the #1000solutions challenge: to select, label and promote 1000 clean, efficient and profitable solutions to fight climate change.

40% of rural consumers dissatisfied with state grid: India report

Despite huge progress toward 100% electrification in India, a new study finds the reality quite different, with a huge need to focus on customer satisfaction

Top trends for energy access in 2019

Power for All gathers together various predictions and trends that we see unfolding for electricity access and the distributed renewable energy sector in 2019.

Stories Wanted: Let us shine a spotlight on you

Power for All is looking to spotlight the great work our partners are doing through story-telling. It can be visual -- through video, data visualization, or photo essays. It can be personal profiles. Stories about technology or business innovation. Or tales of improved livelihoods and jobs. You name it, we're probably interested.

2018: Top Energy Access Tweets

Approaching 10,000 followers (with average 300,000 impressions per month), Power for All’s Twitter account is a window into the topics that most interest the distributed renewable energy sector. Twitter measures “Top Tweets” based of engagement and impressions. The themes that generated the biggest response in 2018? Mini-grids, and the jobs opportunity of energy access. Other topics of interest: consumer demand, market development, and data.

New analysis indicates grid extension poor fit for rural poor

Should private off-grid solar companies continue to expand their user base? Or is the grid better suited for poor, rural consumers? [Spoiler Alert: Yes and No]

Women #PoweringJobs in Senegal

Over 100 years ago, women pushed for the right to vote. Today, they are pushing for the right to energy. Nowhere is this more important than in West Africa, where 100 million women and girls live in energy poverty.

CNBC Africa: "How renewables could help solve Africa’s job crisis"

CNBC Africa highlights the #PoweringJobs campaign, spotlighting that distributed renewable energy solutions like home solar and green mini-grids can help solve Africa's job crisis.

SDG7: is a “great convergence” coming?

SDG7 — affordable, modern, reliable, sustainable energy for all — has two parts: providing access to electricity (for 1 billion people) and clean cooking (for 3 billion). But the two have always been on parallel tracks. It's time for them to come together

In Conversation with Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki

A team at the India Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai has pioneered a new solar electric cookstove for India. Can it bring the two sides of SDG7—clean cooking and electricity access—together? Power for All spoke with team leader, Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki, about a village pilot under way, and the potential to scale.

Turning Data Into Insight

According to the UN, the “deployment of decentralized renewable energy is fueling a disruptive transformation of the energy sector”, by providing a fast, cost-effective and sustainable approach to universal energy access. Yet we at Power for All, our partners and stakeholders agree that many actors with the influence to accelerate decentralized renewable energy (DRE) growth.

The New Activists

Different campaigns across geographies are uniting to support a renewable energy future, says May Boeve of

Spotlight: Distributed Models for Grid Extension Could Save African Utilities Billions of Dollars

Sub-Saharan Africa utilities run huge deficits. Distributed renewable energy can help them extend service in a more cost-efficient way, say Rebekah Shirley of Power for All and GTM Research’s Ben Attia.

When Power is Life or Death

The founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Michael Liebreich, recently launched the Project Bo crowdsourcing campaign, triggered when he saw a tweet last year from Dr Niall Conroy of University College Dublin.

Hey Matt Damon, Let’s Talk

Chances are that if you live in a remote part of sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia and don’t have access to electricity, you also don’t have access to clean water. That’s hundreds of millions of people.

Sierra Leone Energy Revolution Picks Up Pace

Innovative financing proposals and local media support for energy access were the outcomes of two workshops held in Sierra Leone to propel the Energy Revolution. At the events, Power for All brought together stakeholders to drive engagement and collaboration in support of the country’s efforts to help families and businesses gain energy access.

2018: Utilities and the Decentralized Pivot

“The Future of Energy”—also known as “The Energy Transition”—has been contemplated, discussed, and written about ad nauseam by nearly every scholar and consulting firm working in or around the power sector today.

New Markets for Distributed Renewables Opened Up in Nigerian States

For countries with a federal government, policy implementation and change frequently happen at the state level. Nigeria, with 36 states, is no exception. As part of the Scaling Off Grid Energy (SOGE) project, Power for All has kicked off a 6-part workshop series in low energy access states to ensure that decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions are fully baked in to local electrification plans.

Insider Insight: Rafiki Power

The International Energy Agency has advised that 45 percent of rural electrification—bringing power to over 480 million people—is best achieved via mini-grids. In a recent Power for All survey, we asked mini-grid providers for their insights on the most important steps policy-makers can take to unlock this potential. In the technology category, standards, clear regulation and fast, low-cost licensing and permitting were all pinpointed as key policy actions

Spotlight: Women Poised to Lead Nigeria’s Clean Energy Revolution

Recognition of energy access impact on women is growing, and nowhere is this shift more evident than in Sub-Saharan African countries. Women are emerging not just as consumers of a new wave of innovative energy access products and services, but also as leading entrepreneurs and leaders shaping the industry.

Solar Jobs in India Changing Lives

Off-grid solar leader Greenlight Planet directly manages 2,000 sales agents in India, with its distributors employing another 10,000. Here is the story of one woman and the impact of solar on her life.

Newly Electrified Villages in India Lag in Quality, Reliability

New research looks at hundreds of villages in India’s most energy-poor states, and finds that recent connections to the grid for remote villages are worse than past rural electrification efforts

How a Solar Company Is Creating Impact by Involving Women in Rural India

To mark International Women’s Day, Simpa Networks launches a new effort to reach more than 36,000 female customers per year, and train more than 5,000 women-village level entrepreneurs to deliver solar electricity

Rural Electricity Consumers in India Prefer Locally-Owned Grids

Arianna Tozzi recently visited Karnataka state to gauge consumer attitudes toward centralized grid extension vs. locally-owned and managed mini-grids. The favored option: mini-grids.

India Failing to Support Distributed Renewables for Energy Access

IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) finds in a new analysis that government support for clean, decentralized energy access solutions is woefully lacking — less then 1% — compared to fossil fuel, centralized options

Spotlight: massive "under-the-grid" opportunity for distributed energy – Power for All

In our ongoing series with GTM Research on energy access, GTMR's Ben Attia and our PEAK research team uncover the untapped opportunity for decentralized solutions to serve "under-the-grid" communities, which total 110 million people, or one in every six African people without electricity access.

Can Saubhagya succeed? Prospects of universal electrification in Uttar Pradesh

Johannes Urpelainen, director of the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP), reports from the front lines on India’s ambitious energy access plan and the challenges to implementation on the ground

Husk Power nets $20 million from Shell, ENGIE, Swedfund to scale mini-grids

The deal is the largest equity investment realized to date by a mini-grid company. India-based Husk will use the funds to expand its business in India and Tanzania to 300 mini-grids, serving over 100,000 customers, according to company CEO Manoj Sinha.

Why active community ownership is key to rural electricity access in India

Arianna Tozzi, an India-based researcher, explains how community involvement can provide a sense of empowerment and lead to long-term sustainability of solar mini-grids

Off-grid solar financing failing in India

Mohit Anand of TFE Consulting discusses the challenges of accessing capital for decentralized renewable energy in India, and suggests securitization as a path forward

Distributed solar industry eyes India as next “pay-as-you-go” giant

Many hurdles remain, including low consumer awareness, lack of mobile money and a fragmented telecom industry, but Anna Wells, senior communications adviser at GOGLA, reports that momentum is growing heading into 2018

Amid push for rural grid extension, distribution franchising could deliver reliable energy access in India

The government is banking on state-owned utilities and a centralized grid, but global trends point to a decentralized model in partnership with private sector, community

Growing demand for mini-grids, solar in rural India; kerosene declining

Shalu Agrawal, a researcher at the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP), reports from the front lines of Uttar Pradesh that decentralized renewable energy solutions are gaining popularity in rural communities

What’s the best battery for rural mini-grids?

New testing by the Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT) finds Lithium-Ion (Li-ion), Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) and Advanced Lead Acid (ALA) batteries all have strengths, but cost will be king

Mini-grids can quickly achieve universal access in India, cut emissions: report

New research from REEEP shines light on need for greater public support for private sector mini-grid developers, with 36.5 million people in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states hanging in the balance

Stage Set for Women to Lead a Solar-Powered Gender Revolution in Rural India

A growing movement of companies and civil society groups is helping women in rural India become solar entrepreneurs and improve their livelihoods. Now the key is scale.

Top India companies mostly ignore energy access in CSR spend: report

India requires companies to spend 2% of profit on CSR. New research shows just a tiny fraction of that spend going to clean energy, with money often failing to reach the most energy-poor regions

Saubhagya: the challenge in one chart

India has set a target of electrifying all households by Q1 2019. That will require 10x growth in the pace of new connections, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)

India’s Renewable Energy Push: A Win-Win for Job Creation and Electricity Access

A new report from World Resources Institute (WRI) explores India’s opportunity to be a role model for job creation in developing countries, especially for women, and create lucrative alternatives to subsistence farming through energy access

Commentary: New India Electrification Target Daunting, but Doable

Debajit Palit of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a research institute, says a newly announced government scheme is a step in the right direction to electrify all households in India, but only with change management at state-owned distributors

Crowdfunding tapped as new finance path for rural electrification in India

With access to affordable, long-term finance still a challenge in India for last-mile energy infrastructure, creative solutions are seeing the light of day, including crowdfunding

Solar + Storage: A path to converging clean cooking, electricity access? India thinks so.

The government has launched an innovation challenge that hopes to revolutionize access to electric induction cookstoves by taking advantage of huge cost declines in solar PV. Cheaper batteries are the “x factor”. Health and climate benefits are the prize.

India energy future needs to be less ad hoc, more distributed

Arunabha Ghosh, the CEO of leading research institute Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), lays out a vision for how to build an inclusive, resilient, sustainable energy future in India that leaves no one behind

New $50 million energy access growth fund announced by Shell Fdn, FMO

Shell Foundation and Dutch development bank FMO have announced a new growth fund for energy access businesses in India and Africa, with the aim of deploying $50 million and being operational in Q1 2018.

How India can lead the world in super-efficient appliances

India made efficient LED lightbulbs ubiquitous and cheap in just three years. It has an opportunity to do the same for super-efficient appliances and create a massive new global and domestic market, says innovator Sundar Muruganandhan.

This Remote Region In Rajasthan Could Be India’s Answer To Tackling Energy Poverty

A group of organizations, including SELCO Foundation, Rang De and Kotra Adivasi Sansthan, are teaming up to provide low-cost financing for distributed solar in tribal communities

India’s Twitterati for electricity access

Power for All has compiled an informal guide of leading voices on Twitter connected to the effort to bring electricity to the 300 million in India without access. The below list is based on frequency and relevancy of posts and number of followers. We’ve included individuals and institutions, both from within and outside India. If you think we missed someone, or have story ideas for the Powering Rural India publication, please comment below. #SDGs #GlobalGoals #SDG7 #India #energyaccess

India historic success for electricity access, future connections will be decentralized: IEA

India stands out as “one of the largest electrification success stories in history”, accounting for 2 or every 5 people newly electrified since 2000, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

Indian States Energy Access Digest

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) presents updates on key state-level initiatives to improve energy access in India

A glaring omission in India’s energy policy: gender justice

It is high time the government take affirmative steps toward equity for women in the country’s energy future, argue Dr. Mini Govindan and Debajit Palit of TERI

Billions in savings from kerosene subsidy cuts should go to distributed solar: IISD

India is one of the largest consumers of kerosene on an absolute and per capita basis. Because there are no accessible, affordable and established sustainable alternatives, poor rural households — especially in remote rural areas — continue to use kerosene as their primary lighting fuel despite the well-recorded health hazards. But this is changing, according to new policy analysis by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Billionaire puts electricity access on front page of top India newspapers

Manoj Bhargava, the Indian-American billionaire, philanthropist and creator of 5-hour Energy, took out front-page ads in all of India’s top national newspapers on Oct. 6, offering “Free Electricity” from distributed renewable energy. Through the Billions in Change initiative, the native of Uttar Pradesh is advertising portable solar lighting as well as phone charging solutions. It also offers a pedal-powered hybrid bicycle, which drives a flywheel system that turns a generator, which charges a battery pack.

India energy access sector makes headway, also faces headwinds: CLEAN report

A new report launched by industry representative Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN) showed that India’s private sector energy access companies are experiencing growth, and expect to triple their financing needs in the next three years, but need stronger public partnerships to scale more rapidly.

Scaling up mini-grids through capital infusion, innovation, and cross-sector collaboration

Government affirmation of off-grid models being a complementary way of viable electricity provision will be critical to unlocking market potential. A quarter of the world’s energy poor live in India. This energy access gap is partially due to the remoteness of some communities, where the national grid may not reach for many years. In some cases, these villages do have central grid infrastructure, but sufficient electricity is not reaching people at the household level. This puts the unelectrified at a distinct disadvantage because energy is a prerequisite for economic development.

Small hydro target moved up in India

NITI Aayog, the government policy think tank in India, has recommended that the country’s Small Hydro Power (SHP) target of 5 GW by 2022 be advanced to 2019–20, which it says will aid in balancing variable solar energy in decentralized locations.

5 Concrete Steps for India to Achieve Universal Electricity Access

India’s government has set 2022 as the target for providing 24x7 electricity to all of its people, including the roughly 300 million who lack any access to power. A lot of progress has been made, but a program associate at leading Indian policy research institute CEEW has outlined 5 concrete steps that should be taken to assure the ambitious goal is met.

India pledges $2.5 billion to electrify all households by Q1 2019: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new phase of India’s universal electrification program, saying that state’s would be required to electrify all households by March 31, 2019 and committing 163.2 billion rupees ($2.5 billion) for the program, with 86% of that going to rural electrification.

Power for all, always

Smart technology, involving people in operations could make 24x7 electricity a reality

How Women Are Bringing Solar Power to Villages in Bihar

Recently, Kumar Deepak, environment officer at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in India, had an opportunity to meet with Amrish Joshi, a block coordinator for Tankuppa, Gaya, in Bihar state for the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project (aka, Jeevika), who has been working on renewable energy installations in the area. The area was previously infamous as a corridor for a Naxal insurgency. Solar mini-grids have been set up and are now operational in two villages.

Solar mini-grids deliver clean water to rural India

Distributed solar is about more than just bringing electricity to rural villages. It’s about delivering the services that electricity enable, including clean water. Grassroots and Rural Innovative Development (GRID) and a growing number of private companies are pioneering a new approach in India using renewable energy mini-grids to power reverse osmosis (RO) water purification plants.

Thoughts on quality electricity access in rural Jharkhand

Jharkhand is one of the most diverse states in India with 32 recognized indigenous tribes accounting for more than 26% of the state’s population. The village of Kantasola is inhabited by one such tribe, the Santhals, known for their art, handicrafts, bow and arrow skills and, spot-clean villages and houses.

Backed by Japanese giant, top India mini-grid developer heads to Africa

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and OMC Power are forming a joint venture (JV) to enter the African market as part of a just announced ¥1 billion ($9.3 million) equity investment by the Japanese conglomerate in the leading private Indian mini-grid developer, according to the companies.

Mini-grids deliver in India floods

In late August, Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, was devastated by flooding that affected millions of people and severely challenged authorities working to support the rural communities hit hardest. With uncertainty about the availability of grid power, renewable energy mini-grids stepped up to ensure adequate back-up power and played a key role in assisting with relief operations.

New research: rooftop solar can bridge India’s gap in rural health services

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), one of South Asia’s leading policy research institutions, today issued a new report concluding that distributed solar energy can play a major role in bridging India’s massive gap in delivering rural healthcare services, both as a primary and backup source of power. Currently, 1 in 2 rural Primary Health Centers (PHCs) in India suffer from lack of electricity or irregular power supply, with over 38 million households depending on PHCs that have zero electricity access.

In north-east India, boat clinics go solar for better healthcare delivery

For communities perilously living in flood prone areas, access to basic resources and opportunities is a perpetual challenge. River islands especially lack basic infrastructure and services such as healthcare, education, power, drinking water and sanitation. People risk the weather and flooding rivers, and make long journeys in difficult terrains to get basic health services such as vaccination, mother and child care, medicines, minor operations, etc. Medical emergencies can be particularly harrowing. Same challenges are prevalent across the sundarbans in Bangladesh, coastal areas of Rakhine in Myanmar, the lakes of Cambodia, and many other areas.

With a few tweaks, India can lead rural electrification with real-time data and smarter metrics

India’s Draft National Energy Policy, published by NITI Aayog on June 27, proposes to change the national definition of village electrification. The change would only consider a village fully electrified if all households enjoy adequate hours of power supply on a typical day.

“Green Fund” needed to unlock finance and achieve India’s clean energy goals

Momentum is building as India moves towards meeting its clean energy targets. Recognizing the tremendous growth potential and opportunity to overhaul India’s energy sector, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy convened policymakers, investors and key clean energy stakeholders at the World Renewable Energy Technology Congress in New Delhi this week to focus on accelerating the market and achieving India’s goals of installing 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power by 2022.

2016–17 Global LEAP Awards for Off-Grid TVs & Fans Announced

Winners and Finalists of the 2016–17 Global LEAP Awards for Outstanding Off-Grid Televisions and Fans were announced today by USAID’s Power Africa Beyond the Grid program. Power for All partner d.light won the medium television category, and our partners BBOXX and Mobisol were finalists in the large television and medium television categories, respectively. Congrats and we’re proud to have you on the Power for All campaign!

24x7 Power is About Access, Not Electrification

India currently reports 99.4% electrification, yet there are 304 million people who still lack access to electricity according to the recent draft of the National Energy Policy (NEP) issued by the government’s policy thinktank NITI Aayog.

India: Ground zero for scaling electricity access and SDG7

For good reason, sub-Saharan Africa gets much of the attention when it comes to electricity access. It is home to more than 600 million energy poor spread across nearly 50 countries. But it is likely going to be India — by itself home to roughly 300 million unelectrified — where decentralized renewable energy (DRE) achieves the scale needed to deliver Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) — universal access to modern, affordable, reliable and sustainable energy by 2030.

Sector Reform + Distributed Technology = 24x7 Power

A key lesson from the past decade of electrification in India and the surge of decentralized energy technologies is that grid extension and decentralized solutions are complementary. Although distributed power may be a viable alternative to grid extension in sparsely populated countries with limited electric grid infrastructure, in India the problems with the electric grid have more to do with governance than with geography. Therefore, the best way forward is to combine power sector reform and distributed power generation under an integrated policy framework.

ENGIE Ups Stake in India Last-Mile Market

Rassembleurs d’Energies, a sustainable energy investment and technical assistance arm of giant France-based utility ENGIE, announced its participation in a new $2.5 million round of investment in Mera Gao Power(MGP), an Indian micro-grid developer.

ENGIE ups stake in India last-mile market

Rassembleurs d’Energies, a sustainable energy investment and technical assistance arm of giant France-based utility ENGIE, announced its participation in a new $2.5 million round of investment in Mera Gao Power (MGP), an Indian micro-grid developer.

New national energy policy redefines rural “electrification”, sees states taking lead

India has put forward a sweeping roadmap for its energy future, including the role it foresees for distributed renewables as it moves to create universal electricity access by 2022, and an energy revolution by 2040, by which time India’s population will be about 1.6 billion, with electricity demand expected to increase 4.5 fold from 2012 levels.

Waste biomass power set to surge in India

Solar energy has received most of the attention in India’s ongoing energy transition. But the country’s draft National Energy Policy (NEP) has called for putting greater resources behind projects that convert waste agricultural biomass into electricity.

Roti and a Renewable Recipe for Better Livelihoods in Rural India

Clear linkages exist between distributed energy, energy efficiency and sustainable livelihoods. However, a holistic solution needs to go beyond the confines of technology, and integrate aspects of capacity building, appropriate financing and market intelligence. Take the case of roti.

New Report: Progress on 24x7 Power for All

India’s government has made transparency a centerpiece of its rural electrification campaign, called Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). A new update summarizing the status of India’s overall energy reform program (called 24x7 Power for All, or Ujwal Bharat) was recently issued, reporting that 73% of villages have been electrified under DDUGJY as of May 19, 2017.

New Report: Progress on 24x7 Power for All

India’s government has made transparency a centerpiece of its rural electrification campaign, called Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). A new update summarizing the status of India’s overall energy reform program (called 24x7 Power for All, or Ujwal Bharat) was recently issued, reporting that 73% of villages have been electrified under DDUGJY as of May 19, 2017.

Uttar Pradesh: Opportunity to Scale Energy-as-a-Service Models for Rural Electrification

With a population of 200 million, Uttar Pradesh (UP) is India’s largest state. It is also the state with the largest number of unelectrified people. In the 2011 Census of India, only one in four rural households used electricity as their primary source of lighting, and the 2014–2015 ACCESS survey of energy poverty in rural India revealed that the typical grid-connected household only received nine hours of power supply on an average day.

Virtually battery-free, 100% renewable, remotely-managed rural utility is coming

Husk Power Systems, an early pioneer in developing micro-grids for poor, rural communities in India and sub-Saharan Africa, plans a 7-fold increase in its power plants to 600 within 5 years, expanding into a fully-fledged rural utility that delivers reliable 24/7 grid-compatible power and better customer service than incumbent utilities.

100,000 Reasons Not to Forget the Urban-Rural Connection in SDG7

Most international focus on electricity poverty is understandably on remote, rural communities, where 900 million people live without power. But as Pollinate Energy just proved in India, cities also face similar challenges. Pollinate, which distributes solar and other life-changing products to vulnerable urban migrants, just announced surpassing its 100,000 customer.

5 Untapped Apps of Solar Irrigation

The benefits of solar pumps are not restricted to irrigation, in India and globally. Besides reducing pollution and emissions by replacing diesel generators, they can deliver many other applications, which is critical in India, a country where agriculture accounts for 15% of GDP and more than 50% of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Indian enterprises are banking on solar loans for sustainable energy access to tribal hamlets

Access to credit is an important pre-requisite for facilitating access to energy. Owing to marginal and unpredictable incomes, rural and tribal families cannot afford to pay up-front the cost of basic systems. Over the years, solar products, heavily subsidized by multiple donors, have been installed in villages without adequate servicing and maintenance. The consequences have been disastrous as many of the villages have turned into junkyards of dysfunctional systems.

Scaling rural electrification via bank capacity building

The biggest frustration voiced by enterprises looking to deliver last-mile electricity connections to the rural poor is lack of finance. To solve this major roadblock to scale, SELCO Foundation has developed an innovative program that has nothing to do with money. It focuses instead on people and process. Sound boring? Not at all, and it may be a key to fully unlocking the distributed energy transition sweeping the world.

How distributed solar can save India $10 billion, eliminate 5% of emissions, increase farmer incomes

An innovative project in India to aggregate power generated from microgrid-powered solar irrigation into farmer-owned electricity cooperatives is showing impressive results, with the potential to save India’s government $10 billion in farm power subsidies, conserve scarce groundwater and eliminate 5% of India’s total GHG emissions.

Bihar calls on investors to help decarbonize

Bihar’s Energy Minister, Shri Bijendra Prasad Yadav called on investors to come to Bihar state, one of India’s most electricity poor, to help achieve bold new renewable energy targets and decarbonize the economy.

Utilities partner with micro-grids in India to provide rural power access, save money

In an attempt to address electricity poverty in India and make uninterrupted power accessible to all, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, in conjunction with several utilities, has pioneered work on solar-powered direct-current (DC) micro-grids that have reduced system costs by about 50%. The project has so far connected around 9,000 homes in 11 states.

Multi-Billion Dollar Africa-India Partnership Aims to Eradicate Electricity Poverty

As this CNBC Africa interview with Power for All shows, the pieces are falling into place for an important collaboration between India and Africa to end energy poverty. The stakes are high, as sub-Saharan Africa and India account for over 80 percent of the world’s 1.1 billion unelectrified.

“Utility in a Box” — a mini-grid solution for scaling last-mile connectivity

Prototypes of an integrated, standardized “Utility in a Box” (UiB) are being deployed in rural India starting this month, with the goal of significantly reducing the cost of mini-grid systems and contributing more significantly to India’s goal of national electrification by 2019.

India sees launch of 1st solar TV service

Simpa Networks, a leader in providing affordable solar power to households and businesses in rural India, today announced the launch of Magic TV, the country’s first solar-powered Pay-as-you-Go (PAYG) satellite TV solution.

Indian women scaling distributed power to 100,000s of rural households

Jaipur-based Frontier Markets is pursuing a energy revolution in rural India through the power of women. The start-up is expecting to more than double to 500,000 the number of households it reaches with distributed renewable power solutions this year.

It’s time for a grid, mini-grid marriage in India

India is pursuing national electrification at a breakneck pace, but in order for last-mile connectivity to become a reality for all Indians, better coordination is needed between grid operators and private mini-grid ESCOs, according to a new report.

Is cold storage the next ‘killer app’ for green mini-grids?

Many of India’s leading mini-grid developers launched their businesses by powering remote telco towers close to communities lacking reliable electricity. While this model has provided guaranteed off-take and revenue, the search is now on for additional (and more productive) anchor loads as the mini-grid market evolves and innovates.

Goyal “most important individual for the future of energy”

A very interesting blurb from “Energy Source”, the weekly newsletter from Financial Times US Industry and Energy Editor Ed Crooks, in which he suggests that MNRE minister Piyush Goyal is playing a central role in the global clean energy transition.

India’s Power Surge: A Paradox of Plenty?

India’s state power ministers convened in Delhi recently for an unusual group meeting. The event had a dual purpose: partly to celebrate how far India has come in rebuilding its power sector, and partly to lay out a roadmap for confronting the challenges that remain. My recent journey through 11 of India’s 29 states, speaking with senior power officials, confirms that India has made incredible progress in tackling its power generation deficit. Increased generation capacity through new additions of renewables and greater efficiency and reliability of coal stocks for thermal power plants is coupling with the success of India’s incredible demand-side measures to create a perfect storm of plentiful power. However, the next set of problems for its power sector are in some ways more difficult to confront. To address those problems, India will have to employ a diverse and creative set of solutions.

Scaling Solar Irrigation in India (and Africa)

India’s market for solar pumps for irrigation and drinking water was virtually non-existent in 2011, when Claro Energy was founded. But recent attention from federal and state governments, including subsidies, has created a $700 million annual market that is set to expand rapidly.

The best energy access video ever?

Judge for yourself. Watch and learn about the inspirational work by Global Himalayan Expedition in the remotest parts of India

Frontier Markets: Islands, Eagles, States

The buzz around decentralized renewable energy has so far mostly been in East Africa and South Asia, i.e. high-flying Kenya and massive India and Bangladesh. 2017 will see growth of decentralized energy into new frontiers. And thanks to Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), we now have a clearer picture of where the biggest opportunities for renewable energy to close the access gap are. The SEforAll “Heat Maps” identify the countries where the electricity deficit is highest, as well as the countries of high-impact for renewables penetration. If you overlay those, factor in which national governments are embracing decentralized renewables, then account for countries where finance and businesses are ready to scale, we have a pretty solid idea of what’s coming in terms of potential “new wins” for the sector in 2017, including:

2017: Ones to Watch

No influencer is an island. It takes leadership across a sector to create a movement for change. Given the wealth of stakeholders who play key roles in the decentralized renewables sector, this list is by no way exhaustive, but it highlights a few of the individuals and organizations that will help to shape 2017

New Deal Underway: AfDB launches $500 million Facility for Energy Inclusion

Great news out of Abidjan: the Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) just approved a $100 million financing package to seed the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a $500 million pan-African renewable energy access debt fund. This investment approval is the first big step by the AfDB to deliver on its New Deal for Energy in Africa commitments for energy access through decentralized renewables.

Africa’s Leading Mini-Grid Initiative Reports Key Findings

The leading mini-grid program in Africa today released its first findings after nearly two years of deployment in Kenya.

A New “P2P” Grid for Energy Access Emerges in Bangladesh

ME SOLshare is piloting a new business model in Bangladesh that hopes to leverage the country’s explosion of household solar into a peer-to-peer (P2P) utility. Instead of developing mini-grids or installing more rooftop systems, the start-up hopes to tap into the existing 4–5 million home systems that are already widely deployed in rural areas.

Guest Post: 5 Lessons from Kenya’s Energy Access Boom

Kenya’s market for decentralized renewables is the fastest moving in Africa. Already 15-20 percent of Kenyan households use solar lighting and the country is home to a pioneering green mini-grids program, thousands of biodigesters and 3,000MW of micro-hydro systems. I was recently invited to share Kenya’s experiences on this rapid expansion with policy-makers in Zimbabwe, as both our countries work to achieve universal energy access by 2030.

Generation2030: A Powerful Problem

More than 600 million people in Africa live without electricity, and in just 15 years energy will be needed for another 500 million more as the population soars. Nigeria alone could be home to nearly 1 billion people by 2100, with Africa home to five billion.

Power for All Launches in Zimbabwe

Power for All launched its national campaign in Zimbabwe at an event in Harare. In Zimbabwe, 86% of the rural population is unelectrified and, even in urban areas, stress on the grid leads to frequent power outages. The Power for All campaign aims to catalyze support for rapidly deployable decentralized renewables to accelerate energy access.

Get Campaigning: #endenergypovertyfaster

With over one billion people living without clean, safe power the issue of energy poverty could not be more urgent.

Get the Story: #endenergypovertyfaster

Today, April 14, Power for All launched a Call to Action at the World Bank Spring Meetings urging multilateral development banks (MDBs) to help radically accelerate the pace of energy access for the 1.1 billion people living in energy poverty.

Share the message: #endenergypovertyfaster

Every day that families are trapped in energy poverty, there is a huge cost; a billion people lose out on the health, education, and opportunity that comes with access to clean, affordable power. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) have much needed goals to end energy poverty but still focus most of their energy funding on projects that take many years to complete. Rapidly deployable decentralized renewables can bring energy access to millions much quicker.