Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective
Some 400 million Indians – nearly a third of the population – have never used electric light bulbs in their homes. Over two-thirds of the population is exposed to intense indoor air pollution caused by burning biomass in inefficient, smoky cookstoves.
We helped establish the Ashden India Renewable Collective in 2010 to help increase access to energy for India’s rural poor – and to capitalise on the critical mass of innovative business models delivering sustainable energy in the country.
A growing force for change
The Collective is becoming a force for change, with members working with various government departments on a range of areas, including renewable energy finance, energy and gender, and mini grids.
Achievements so far include:
- Collaborating with the Shakti foundation to produce a series of briefing papers on the practical implementation of rural energy projects in India. Themes covered so far include building human resource capacities for decentralised rural energy and the latest thinking on clean cookstoves. Read the first papers in the series on the Shakti Foundation website.
- Supporting advocacy efforts for the Reserve Bank of India to accord ‘priority’ status to bank lending for household renewable energy applications: a development that could transform the sector into a booming industry.
- Policy dialogues on regulations for off grid energy, subsidy and incentives, tariffs for off-grid energy – which resulted in recommendations to the government to create an enabling policy environment for off-grid renewable energy.
- Several Collective members are inputting into plans for the second phase of the government’s flagship Jawarharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which aims to mainstream off-grid solar power.
- Organising a session on Clean Cooking Energy for All for the Khemka Foundation, a report on which will be published soon.
India energy facts25% of Indians lack access to electricity
Electricity access ranges from 90% in some states to 40% in others
31% (78m households) use kerosene for lighting
67% of Indians use biomass for cooking
Biomass represents 25% of India’s primary energy consumption
More than 1m households use solar to satisfy all their lighting needs
Sources: Indian National Census, Indian National Electrification Corporation, Indian Planning Commission, International Energy Agency