Renewable energy-based rural electrification: the mini-grid experience from India

The development of mini-grids based on renewable energy sources such as solar PV, biogas and small hydro has been a successful venture in India. The new report from the GNESD project, Renewable energy-based rural electrification: The mini-grid experience from India, authoured by Debajit Palit and Gopal K Sarangi, provides a review of this experience of mini-grid use in India by making specific references to successful cases. This report investigates renewable energy-based rural electrification in India, with a specific focus on the mini and micro-grid experiences. It makes specific references to solar PV and biomass-based technologies implemented under publicly supported programmes like the Remote Village Electrification programme (RVEP) and the Village Energy Security programme (VESP) of MNRE. Under publicly supported programmes, two different variants of mini-grids promoted under two different settings are examined in depth. These are the Sunderbans mini-grid model promoted by the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) and the Chhattisgarh mini-grid model promoted by the Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA).