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Village-scale solar powered minigrids are the most promising path for India to meet its linked aims of GDP growth and access to electricity for all. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is already active on this front, but a comprehensive and standardised national minigrid policy that facilitates private sector involvement and eases financing, will allow this model to flourish.
India is betting heavily on renewable energy to produce a significant chunk of the electricity necessary to power an 8% GDP growth, with a much smaller carbon footprint that will be compatible with the country’s carbon reduction targets. The government has set an ambitious target of nearly 200 gigawatts (GW)1 from renewables by 2022—of which 100 GW will be from solar energy. Industry has risen to the challenge, making commitments to build solar capacity of 175 GW, 2 exceeding the target by a fair bit.
Solar startup Omnigrid supplies remote villages, relying on income from telecom towers
HARDOI, India—A small field of solar panels on the outskirts of this rural district was built to generate energy for a cellphone tower. Now it also supplies electricity to local residents who have suffered from chronic power shortages for decades.