Scope, Relevance and Sustainability of Decentralized Renewable Energy Systems in Developing Economies: Imperatives from Indian Case Studies
‘Energy for all’, is a global issue of concern for the past many years. Despite the number of technological advancements and innovations, significant numbers of people are living without access to electricity around the world. India, an emerging economy, tops the list of nations having the maximum number of residents living off the grid, thus raising global attention in past few years to provide clean and sustainable energy access solutions to all of its residents. It is evident from developed economies that centralized planning and electrification alone is not sufficient for meeting energy security. Implementation of off-grid and consumer-driven energy models like Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) systems have played a significant role in meeting the national energy demand in developed nations. Cases of DRE systems have been reported in developing countries like India for the past few years. This paper attempts to profile the status of DRE projects in the Indian context with their scope and relevance to ensure universal electrification. Diversified cases of DRE projects, particularly solar, biomass and micro hydro are identified in different Indian states. Critical factors affecting the sustainability of DRE projects are extracted with their interlinkages in the context of developers, beneficiaries and promoters involved in such projects. Socio-techno-economic indicators are identified through similar cases in the context of DRE projects. Exploratory factor analysis is performed to evaluate the critical sustainability factors followed by regression analysis to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent factors. The generated EFA-Regression model provides a basis to develop the sustainability and replicability framework for broader coverage of DRE projects in developing nations in order to attain the goal of universal electrification with least carbon emissions.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3299469Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF
 World Bank. State of Electricity Access Report. 2017.
 World Bank. Access to Electricity n.d. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ (accessed January 21, 2018).
 Vinci S, Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission, Ministry of Energy, Boampong R, Phillips MA, Cader C, et al. Energy Access Outlook 2017: From poverty to prosperity. Energy Procedia 2017;94:144.
 Global Carbon Atlas 2018.http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/en/CO2-emissions (accessed January 20, 2019).
 Shrimali G, Srinivasan S, Goel S, Nelson D. The effectiveness of federal renewable policies in India. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 2017;70:538–50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2016.10.075.
 Liming H. Financing rural renewable energy: A comparison between China and India. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 2009;13:1096–103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2008.03.002.
 Charles K. Ebinger. India’s Energy and Climate Policy: Can India Meet the Challenges of Industrialization and Climate Change? 2016.
 Luo, G. L., Guo YW. Rural electrification in China; A policy and Institutional analysis. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 2013;13:320–9.
 Brummer V. Community energy – bene fi ts and barriers: A comparative literature review of Community Energy in the UK, Germany and the USA, the bene fi ts it provides for society and the barriers it faces 2018;94:187–96. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2018.06.013.
 Hicks J, Ison N. An exploration of the boundaries of ‘community’ in community renewable energy projects: Navigating between motivations and context. Energy Policy 2018;113:523–34. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.031.
 Berka AL, Creamer E. Taking stock of the local impacts of community owned renewable energy: A review and research agenda. Renew Sustain Energy Rev. 2018; 82: 3400–19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.10.050.
 Hoicka CE, Macarthur JL. From tip to toes: Mapping community energy models in Canada and New Zealand. Energy Policy 2018;121:162–74. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.06.002.
 Vallecha, H. Bhola P. Prioritization of Challenges and Enablers associated with Community Energy Projects in Indian Context. Energy Procedia 2019;158:3886–3892.
 Amitabh Verma. Empowering villages by solar photovoltaic. Akshay Urja 2009;3:38-41.
 Prayas Energy Group. Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) Micro-grids in India. 2012.
 Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Empowering Rural India the RE Way. 2012.