Resource detail

Title: Towards sustainable rural electrification
Source:GNESD Energy Access Knowledge Base

TERI and a group of research partners, led by De Montfort University, UK, implemented the ‘Off-grid Access Systems for South Asia’ (OASYS South Asia) project. Through this project, a systematic analysis was conducted to develop an off-grid delivery model framework and implement that framework through demonstration projects in un-electrified villages across different regions in India. These demonstration projects included mini-grids, micro-grids, and pico-grids, providing either Alternate Current or Direct Current power to households and shops/micro-enterprises, in the selected project areas.

One of such demonstration project is employed in the five un-electrified villages lying within the Kandhara Reserve Forest of Dhenkanal District in Odisha, India. These villages fall under the Hindol Block (Latitude 20° 33’ N; Longitude 85° 17’ E) with a total population of 555 inhabitants. All these villages were provided with decentralized solar micro-grids; as of now, three larger villages (Rajanga village, Kanaka village and Chadoi village) are receiving power from AC micro-grids and the other two smaller villages (Rajanga hamlet and Baguli village) are getting electricity supply from DC micro-grids.

The main objective of the project in Dhenkanal District, Odisha was to demonstrate the off-grid delivery model through community participation and find appropriate local solution, which is techno-economically viable, institutionally feasible, socio-politically acceptable, and environmentally sound for providing sustainable electricity supply to off-grid areas.

Outcome/Benefits: The impact study undertaken by TERI for this project indicates that the users have been triggered on the path of energy aspirations as the user households are demanding more light points. They are even demanding energy for irrigating their farms now. This marks the success of the project. This project has demonstrated that how community has sustainably managed and run a project with handholding support by a local champion and overall technical support by the project implementing agency. There are large number of un-electrified villages and hamlets in South-Asia, accounting for around 35% of the world's population without access to electricity, especially in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. Hence, similar models can be replicated across these South-Asian countries in energy impoverished communities, thereby contributing to improvement in quality of life of rural people.

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