Renewable energy-based mini-grids can be an important alternative to, or enhance the effectiveness of, central grid extension as a way to increase access to reliable electricity services. While there are a number of challenges to implementing RE mini-grids, many of these can be addressed by well-conceived policy measures.

While the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) opened up the solar electricity sector in India, the focus has primarily been on large-scale grid-connected power plants. With the drastic fall in prices of solar photovoltaic (PV)

This review by Prayas Energy Group focuses on the technical, social, economic, institutional, and policy aspects of DRE micro-grids in India. Finds that while decentralised renewable energy (DRE) micro-grids have significant potential in remote area, the high incidence of project and system failures suggests that there are several unresolved technical, socio-economic and institutional factors that fundamentally impact its long-term sustainability.

Electricity Regulatory Commissions in India determine feed-in-tariffs for different renewable energy technologies. This tool provides a convenient way to perform tariff calculations based on Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Tariff determination from Renewable Energy Sources) Regulations, 2012.

Competitive bidding adopted under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is an appropriate process for megawatt-scale solar power procurement, given the changing prices of solar power and the limited paying capacity of India’s consumers and taxpayers. MW-scale plants may be useful to kick-start the solar photovoltaic industry in India.

This report presents an analysis of solar promotion policies in seven countries - Germany, Spain, the United States, Japan, China, Taiwan, and India – in terms of their outlook, objectives, policy mechanisms and outcomes. The report presents key insights, primarily in qualitative terms, and recommendations for two distinct audiences.

While solar energy has great potential as a renewable energy source for India, in terms of resource availability, flexibility in scale and applications, it is one of the most expensive of such options today.