As part of the government’s initiatives to take renewable energy to remote places, union minister for new and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal on Wednesday launched the solar mini-grids project during 52nd annual meet of African Development Bank (AfDB) at Gandhinagar.
The solar mini grid project entails mini grid systems that foresee renewable energy-based power generation with capacity of 10 Kw and above, supplied directly to households, among others. According to Goyal, the project looks at promoting universal energy access by 2025 even as it looked to reduce electricity costs and tariffs through introduction and promotion of mini grids for harnessing solar power in time bound manner.
“We have been able to bring the cost of renewable energy generation to below grid parity. Reduction in cost of equipment, finance and tariff provides a good potential for growth renewable energy sector. We are looking at expanding the renewable energy capacities to a level witnessed never before,” said Goyal.
Talking about the International Solar Alliance, Goyal stated that since its unveiling in November 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Paris, ISA had seen invitation being sent out to 121 countries, several of which had agreed to join the same, including African nations.
“We are looking at strengthening the International Solar Alliance and Africa-India Renewable Energy Partnership. We believe that learning that India has had over the last three years should be extended to the African continents. We would love to share our solutions with the African continent and all its countries to take the benefits of modern technology and low cost deployment on a larger scale to remotest corners of Africa,” Goyal said.
Talking about India’s learning in renewable energy, Goyal enumerated the government’s efforts in rapidly scaling up our renewable energy capacity, in rapidly reaching out to those remote villages where electricity was never there for seven decades, and in ensuring household connectivity which benefits through the electricity grid as well as off-grid solution in remote areas.
Meanwhile, Goyal also talked about the government’s initiative of taking electricity to the remote areas in the country. “Even in remote areas where grid cannot reach, we are looking at providing a holistic solar energy solution where we will have sufficient capacity in the home system to not only power maybe five LED lights which can ensure brightness but also ceiling fans as well as battery backup of eight hours of supply,” he said.