India has set an ambitious target of achieving net zero emissions by 2070. In a move towards achieving this long-term goal, 50% of cumulative electric power installed capacity is being targeted from non-fossil fuel-based sources by 2030. With these Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets, India is deeply committed to a low-carbon development strategy.

With this background, rural India, which encompasses most of the land area and population, is critical to India’s decarbonization efforts. It presents very distinct challenges to those encountered in concentrated urban and industrialized clusters. Rural areas generate emissions by using biomass in cooking, burning of stubble and community waste, using diesel engines, and producing methane emissions in agriculture. Decarbonizing the rural economy requires distributed, community-driven, localized, and innovative energy solutions. This has increased the importance and significance of Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) solutions manifold.

The implementation of Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) projects holds the promise of expediting the nation’s renewable energy advancement due to their shorter turnaround time. Not necessitating extensive land or intricate power transmission networks, these projects efficiently manage demand and supply, curbing energy losses with proximity to generation points. Particularly viable in rural India, DRE projects harness biomass, solar, and hybrid sources, presenting significant potential. Their application extends to benefitting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as small Commercial and Industrial (C&I) consumers, offering cost-effective, clean, and reliable power, thereby diminishing operational expenses and fostering environmentally conscious manufacturing. To realize their potential, it is imperative to actively promote viable business models linked to livelihood creation, internalizing positive externalities. Despite successful models in rural India, scaling up remains constrained, necessitating the identification of impediments and advocating policy actions for broader adoption.

The conference intends to enhance awareness regarding the advantages of Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) projects in India’s energy transition and sustainable development. Emphasizing their relevance to net zero targets, the event will foster knowledge exchange. Additionally, it aims to address challenges in deploying DRE systems, proposing practical solutions and policy actions to harness their potential in the country.


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