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India's solar mission through a rural lens

Feb 13, 2012

The paper, The National Solar Mission: A Practioner's Perspective by SELCO India, identifies challenges in implementing India’s solar plans and recommends ways to overcome them.

The National Solar Mission: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Published by: SELCO, India

The development of an ecosystem- through economic, social, institutional arrangements is of utmost importance in supporting technology dissemination and adequately serving the needs of a community. The National Solar Mission (NSM) of India has not paid adequate attention to this aspect in its objective to promote off-grid applications of solar energy. This paper by SELCO Solar Pvt. Ltd, a social enterprise that provides sustainable energy solutions and services to under served households and businesses, brings forward the practitioner’s perspective to highlight the barriers within the NSM guidelines, which adversely affect practical implementation.

The United Nations (UN), by declaring the year 2012 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Energy for All’ is aimed at addressing the Millenium Development Goals by stimulating interest in providing access the undeserved populations around the world with access to modern energy sources.

NSM under the aegis of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) serves as an important policy that could further the objectives of this campaign. Although originally conceived to improve the country’s energy security and address climate change, NSM could be extremely significant in stimulating socioeconomic development.

Delivering energy services to the poor requires the establishment of a conducive ecosystem consisting of appropriate technological, financial and institutional arrangements.

Although the NSM attempts to address these aspects, there are issues that need to be resolved urgently before implementation through grass-root level, energy service providers can occur in a sustained fashion.

By focusing on a practitioner’s perspective, this paper captures the experience on the field and seeks to highlight the obstacles encountered in implementing the NSM. But more importantly, the paper suggests constructive recommendations that will serve to strengthen the NSM moving forward.

These recommendations are aimed at being applicable beyond the guidelines of the National Solar Mission to decentralised applications of other renewable energy sources as well.

Source : SELCO
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