Lucknow, 3rd December 2022: Smart Power India (SPI)- a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation, organised a panel discussion on the impact of Distributed Renewable Energy on the livelihoods of rural communities. This panel discussion aimed to highlight the benefits of DRE for the socio-economic development of rural communities.
Reliable access to modern energy is a prerequisite for socio-economic development in rural communities. It is important to understand that energy is a critical enabler of lives and livelihoods in the pursuit of capacity targets.
The event was attended by Mr Anupam Shukla, IAS, Director, UPNEDA; Mr Acharaya Shekhar, SPM, Non-Farm Livelihood, UP-SRLM; Mr VSS Chaitanya, Scientist-B, MNRE; Ms Swati Karki, NABARD; Mr MD Mustafa, State Mission Manager, UPSRLM; Ms Shweta Roy Shrivastav, Manager, SIDBI; Mr Alok Verma, Project Director, HCL foundation; Kamal Kumar Kaushik, CEO Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Fusion Microfinance Limited; Manoj Kumar Gupta, CEO, TP Renewable Microgrid; Mr Kulbir Singh, Vice President (Channel Sales), Servotech Power Systems Limited; Mr Jitesh Kumar, Technical Expert, GIZ; and other dignitaries.
Addressing the panel discussion, Mr Anupam Shukla, IAS, Director, UPNEDA, said, "A clean energy transition is the need of the hour. The Uttar Pradesh government and our department continuously work to provide access to reliable and affordable energy. Clean energy access ensures that India's rural underserved communities receive good quality services and provides the opportunity to improve livelihoods and catalyse economic activity. Creating sustainable livelihood opportunities, investing in clean energy solutions, and building resilience at the village level are critical to rural India's economic recovery and the whole country".
Distributed Renewable Energy has yielded several benefits to micro-enterprises. Access to reliable electricity for lighting, refrigeration and storage has allowed businesses to stay open after daylight hours and work with higher efficiency and productivity. Not only are DRE solutions more cost-effective, but they also mitigate climate change, create more local jobs and income-generating opportunities for rural populations and enable communities to adapt to climate change effects more efficiently.
Speaking at the event, Ms C. Indumathy, IAS, MD, UP State Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM), said, "Our aim is to push the development of the micro, small and medium enterprises in the state. The clean energy transition from fossil fuels will help in boosting the income of micro-entrepreneurs. The reliability of energy enhances not only productive use but also spurs micro-enterprise activities in villages. Creating awareness about the benefits of Distributed Renewable Energies and the resulting increase in productivity and efficiency, which balances the expenses, is important. In order to contribute to India's overall socio-economic growth, the rural sector must have reliable access to modern forms of energy."
The productive use of DRE is not a mere extension of prevailing energy access programmes. It means going beyond energy provision and focusing on the end-user: their skilling, equipment financing, market linkages for the products being produced by end-users and so on.
Further explaining the importance of DRE in livelihood development, Ms Swati Karki, AGM, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), said, "NABARD is supporting livelihood interventions and entrepreneurs. With our programmes in the UP region where we work with a group of beneficiaries, we have also seen a drop in migration to cities, and new local green jobs are being created with better working conditions and higher incomes."
Distributed renewable energy is an effective solution for reliable energy access for rural enterprises; it changed the way we looked at economic progress in rural areas, giving us a potential path to enabling access to reliable energy without compromising on our climate goals.
About Smart Power India (SPI)
SPI, a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation, was established in 2015 to develop and scale sustainable models to accelerate electricity access and spur economic development amongst rural underserved communities. It is committed to creating knowledge and accountability in the public domain through robust evidence-based research and providing field and analytical support to the Government, private sector, implementers and other donors in their pursuits for rural electricity access. SPI develops and disseminates relevant knowledge in the rural electricity access and services space with an aim to promote research and innovation and partners with policymakers, practitioners and academic institutions to come up with actionable insights and innovative strategies. While SPI's work covers the spectrum of supply and demand side issues of rural electricity, its focus is the last-mile customer. SPI exchanges knowledge by promoting and facilitating platforms for networking, knowledge sharing and collaborative research, networking, knowledge sharing and collaborative research.
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