160 NGO's and private firms have got together to appeal to political parties across India to add a plan for decentralized renewable energy in their poll promises.
Signed by Panasonic India, Barefoot Power, CSIR-NEERI and several others, the appeal comes at a time when we have previously reported on how the environment usually gets short shrift from Indian parties .
The appeal was sent on behalf of Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN), an all-India representative organization with a mandate to improve rural livelihoods and promote economic growth and jobs through the deployment of decentralized renewable energy.
“India is already doing better than many other countries in fighting climate change, but better is not enough. Radical changes need to happen sooner rather than later. It is increasingly becoming clear that unless we take urgent action to keep in check rising global temperatures, we are not going to be able to sustain life as we know it,” CLEAN President Svati Bhogle said.
CLEAN calls upon political parties to take heed of the global movement, in which school students from all over the world as well as ordinary citizens, are calling on their governments to take rapid action for Climate Change.
The CLEAN Appeal outlines six specific points that political parties could include in their manifestos:
The appeal calls upon political parties to recognize decentralized renewable energy as an integral part of India’s energy planning, to promote investment in renewables, to create rural renewable based jobs, to reduce carbon emissions, expanding on the clean cooking mission, and to resolve regulatory issues of mini-grids.
The appeal defends mini-grids as not only 100 percent reliable and quality energy access but adds that it also solves issues of last-mile connectivity while addressing energy security in India.
The framework for the deployment of mini-grids laid down in the amendment to National Tariff Policy in 2016, stipulates that an appropriate regulatory mechanism should be put in place to mandate the compulsory purchase of surplus power generated by mini-grids into the national grid.
The appeal does highlight the positive steps taken to provide a fillip to the sector like the issuance of the Draft National Minigrids Policy in June 2016. However, it adds that this policy has not yet finalized nearly three years after.
With regard to creating jobs, the appeal argues that the decentralized renewable energy sector is already generating new jobs and creating opportunities for rural entrepreneurship. Yet there is huge untapped potential. It further supports Decentralized renewable energy saying that its applications also add value to the agricultural sector, creating new and additional markets for the farming community.
“Decentralised renewable energy solutions are one way to tackle climate change as well as remain committed to India’s developmental needs. We appeal to all political parties to consider adding decentralized renewable energy as a way to India’s energy security into their election manifesto,” Bhogle said.
Published with permission from Saur Energy