UNDP's Session on Access to Modern Energy - Case Studies

09 Oct 2012

imagePhoto: UNDP India

The UNDP Session was chaired by His Excellency Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Bir Bikram, Adviser to Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The speakers included Mr Srinivasan Iyer, Assistant Country Director, UNDP India; Ms Tri Mumpuni, Founder, IBEKA (People Centered Business and Economic Institute), Indonesia, Dr Harish Hande, SELCO, India; Thiyagarajan Velumail, UNDP Bangkok; Prof Mukunda, Professor – Emeritus, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India; Mr Stephen Karakezi. Director, Environment and Development Network for Africa, Kenya; Dr R R Sonde, Executive Vice President, Thermax, India. The Session was coordinated by Dr A K Singhal, Director, MNRE, Government of India and Dr S N Srinivas, Programme Analyst, UNDP India.

The session focused on ‘Access to Modern Energy’ presented case studies from around the world to demonstrate the feasibility of provision of clean energy for livelihoods to the ‘energy poor’. The cases presented included;

  1. First presentation described Renewable Energy initiatives under MNRE-UNDP-GEF. Interventions in micro hydro demonstrated 20 pilots, cumulating to 4 MW; demonstrated biomethanation plants for 16 different substrates and inventorised waste in over 70 cities; helped in doubling the solar water heater markets between 2008-12; initiated Solar concentrators for process heat applications in India. 

  2. The presentation on energy access through microhydro projects in Indonesia discussed the provision of power to remote locations in Indonesia, with capacities ranging from 500 watts to 500 kilowatts. This not only provided essential lighting, it also presented how social preparation helped achieving over 100 such installations. 

  3. The presentation on solar markets, looked at the various business models to propagate solar PV for lighting, and how it is extremely valuable in niche applications to strengthen livelihoods in the state of Karnataka in India. Customising energy solutions and evolving energy solutions with financing options was critical in ensuring acceptance of solar energy solutions. 

  4. The presentation on biomass energy described bioresidue based cooking solutions with advanced gasifier stoves and its enormous promise. These when fully realised can perhaps reduce 450 million tonnes to 150 million tonnes of biomass annually. India’s 30 million hectare of culturable waste land hold promise to explore the biofuel potential. In all, it is estimated that exploiting biofuels appropriately can help India reduce the finance outgo from 120 billion USD to 20 billion USD in ten years. 

  5. Another presentation talked of 40 MW Cogeneration development in Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania), based on success story of a small installation in Mauritius for 1.5 MW. The presentation highlighted the need for captive generation of electricity . It discussed, for instance the cogeneration and small hydro in tea estates both for meeting energy needs of factories and electrification of homes in East and Southern Africa. It concluded by suggesting for a flexible tariff setting to encourage such independent power production. 

  6. Experiences of case studies and policies of modern energy productive uses from the Asia-Pacific were presented. Capacity building energy users to access energy and leverage to carry out income generating activities were narrated from different countries. For example, it explained the the targeted one house – one entrepreneur through RE intervention in Nepal; it explained how funding was institutionalised in a pilot in Malaysia where for every 1 unit of fund pooling by users was complemented by Ministry of Energy by 1 unit of funding to enhance grid access. 

  7. The final presentation looked at the solar thermal and biomass hybrid solutions for village loads and village enterprises. It further highlighted the demonstration project of solar biomass based cold storage project by Solar Energy Centre; Solar thermal comfort cooling is also being demonstrated in Solar Energy Centre and policy on tariff for Hybridisation needs to evolve to support such intervention. 

Chairperson felt that apart from all above, two other prominent areas that need attention are, biogas and solar cooker which need to be addressed for easy access to rural people for the purpose of cooking their daily food.

Projects and Initiatives
Access to Clean Energy (2009-2012)

The project, in partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, aims to enhance access to clean and renewable energy for livelihoods in remote un-electrified villages in the selected seven United Nations Development Assistance Framework states of India.

Our Work: Environment and Energy