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The Role of Decentralized Renewable Energy for Rural Electrification. Maharashtra case study, India

Deshmukh, Anand LU (2009) IMEN56 20091
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Access to electricity is important to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The centralized model of large thermal power stations and a central grid is a conventional system to supply electricity to consumers. This centralized model has failed to provide electricity and to achieve the rural electrification objective in developing countries. Un-electrified areas of the developing world are generally located in remote, hilly and forested regions, where grid extension is likely to be impossible for various reasons. Instead of this, decentralized renewable energy (DRE) for electricity generation has provided an avenue to electrify these remote areas and improve their social and economic conditions.
This research is an attempt to... (More)
Access to electricity is important to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The centralized model of large thermal power stations and a central grid is a conventional system to supply electricity to consumers. This centralized model has failed to provide electricity and to achieve the rural electrification objective in developing countries. Un-electrified areas of the developing world are generally located in remote, hilly and forested regions, where grid extension is likely to be impossible for various reasons. Instead of this, decentralized renewable energy (DRE) for electricity generation has provided an avenue to electrify these remote areas and improve their social and economic conditions.
This research is an attempt to seek a balanced view between a centralized conventional source of electricity and decentralized renewable energy for rural electrification. Research has shown the various benefits of decentralized renewable energy (DRE) for rural electrification in Maharashtra, an Indian state. Maharashtra is presently experiencing serious electricity shortages, of around 4 GW. Therefore, prioritization of the distribution of electricity has led to conflict between the government and inhabitants of Maharashtra. Renewable energy (RE) has been looked at to provide electricity in remote areas of Maharashtra. However, there are around 5 554 villages that have not been electrified yet, and it would not be feasible to electrify them with centralized grid electricity.
This research concludes that there is indeed discrimination in terms of the quality of electricity supplied to rural consumers as compared to city-based domestic consumers. The way RE has been pursued in Maharashtra for rural electrification is not so impressive, and has been restricted to small-scale use and domestic lighting. The experience drawn from successful examples of DRE in other parts of India has shown that large-scale application of DRE is possible to replicate in Maharashtra. Nevertheless, this study has documented some challenges and barriers to DRE in Maharashtra.
Community perception towards RE, strong governmental policy in favour of DRE and the involvement of local government are some of the barriers. Simultaneously, development of a robust business model, a well established system for maintenance, economic viability and the sustainability of raw materials are some of the challenges. It is realized that if DRE is to provide superior benefits compared to centralized grid electricity in Maharashtra, it is of utmost importance to overcome these barriers and challenges. (Less)
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author
Deshmukh, Anand LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN56 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
decentralized renewable energy, renewable energy, rural electrification, MDGs
report number
2009:02
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
1511114
date added to LUP
2009-11-26 13:44:01
date last changed
2010-02-18 17:05:25
@misc{1511114,
  abstract     = {Access to electricity is important to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The centralized model of large thermal power stations and a central grid is a conventional system to supply electricity to consumers. This centralized model has failed to provide electricity and to achieve the rural electrification objective in developing countries. Un-electrified areas of the developing world are generally located in remote, hilly and forested regions, where grid extension is likely to be impossible for various reasons. Instead of this, decentralized renewable energy (DRE) for electricity generation has provided an avenue to electrify these remote areas and improve their social and economic conditions.  
This research is an attempt to seek a balanced view between a centralized conventional source of electricity and decentralized renewable energy for rural electrification. Research has shown the various benefits of decentralized renewable energy (DRE) for rural electrification in Maharashtra, an Indian state. Maharashtra is presently experiencing serious electricity shortages, of around 4 GW. Therefore, prioritization of the distribution of electricity has led to conflict between the government and inhabitants of Maharashtra. Renewable energy (RE) has been looked at to provide electricity in remote areas of Maharashtra. However, there are around 5 554 villages that have not been electrified yet, and it would not be feasible to electrify them with centralized grid electricity. 
This research concludes that there is indeed discrimination in terms of the quality of electricity supplied to rural consumers as compared to city-based domestic consumers. The way RE has been pursued in Maharashtra for rural electrification is not so impressive, and has been restricted to small-scale use and domestic lighting. The experience drawn from successful examples of DRE in other parts of India has shown that large-scale application of DRE is possible to replicate in Maharashtra. Nevertheless, this study has documented some challenges and barriers to DRE in Maharashtra. 
Community perception towards RE, strong governmental policy in favour of DRE and the involvement of local government are some of the barriers. Simultaneously, development of a robust business model, a well established system for maintenance, economic viability and the sustainability of raw materials are some of the challenges. It is realized that if DRE is to provide superior benefits compared to centralized grid electricity in Maharashtra, it is of utmost importance to overcome these barriers and challenges.},
  author       = {Deshmukh, Anand},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {decentralized renewable energy,renewable energy,rural electrification,MDGs},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Role of Decentralized Renewable Energy for Rural Electrification. Maharashtra case study, India},
  year         = {2009},
}