In a power-deficient state, renewable energy — produced and distributed at local level — can considerably help improve situation in rural areas.
According to a new World Bank report, ‘Empowering Rural India: Expanding Electricity Access by Mobilising Local Resources’ on Tuesday, based on a study on Radhanagar tehsil in Kolhapur district, consumers can drastically cut power purchase cost.
The report, which was released by Inger Andersen, vice-president, sustainable development network, World Bank, suggested that the proposed model would be a no-risk component for financial institutes because economic gains would be substantial.
The World Bank is in talks with several financial institutes and the Central government to support the sector.
For domestic consumers, who now spend at least Rs11 per unit to meet their energy demands, including cost of wired power and alternate sources like kerosene and diesel, the renewable power would be available at Rs6 per unit.
“In Radhanagari alone, the transmission and distribution losses will be reduced drastically, from 36.81% to 15%, if
the Distributed Generation and Supply of Renewable Energy (DG&S) model is implemented,” the World Bank report said. A similar study was earlier done in Ding, Haryana.
Maharashtra has 9,400 million units of unexploited potential in wind and biomass. By following this model, rural consumers in Maharashtra, can make economic gains to the tune of Rs4,700 crore. This would in some measure help the country as well because 56% of its rural population doesn’t have access to electricity.
“Despite over a century of investment in electric power systems, there are roughly 1.6 billion people across the globe, who don’t have access to electricity,” said Andersen.
He added, “Experiences in countries such as China and Philippines show that distributed generation projects have been successful. The involvement of local community leads to socio-economic development in the area, thereby promoting inclusive growth.”