Just two weeks ago, India and the US launched US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) Initiative, designed to help unlock OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corp) financing and promote distributed clean energy projects. The $20 million initiative is expected to address critical challenges and promote development of microgrid, rooftop and off-grid solar, and smaller-scale grid-connected projects. This initiative is only one of many projects taking place in India, a country taking multiple approaches to meet its bold energy goals as India’s microgrid future takes shape.
Clear Themes Emerge for India’s Sustainable Future
Earlier this month, India’s Hindu BusinessLine published an article summarizing the theme of the country’s first International Conference on Sustainable Green Buildings and Communities. Experts at the conference emphasized two themes:
- Green solutions should be translated into disciplined public policy; and
- They should be implemented at the grassroots level.
The article quotes Ambuj Sharma, industries commissioner and director of industries and commerce, Tamil Nadu, recommending “closer cooperation between technology creators, people and companies that adapt such technologies, and policy makers.”
In Growing Urban India, Microgrids Can Provide Reliable Power
Anand Pattani, country manager and managing director for Black & Veatch India, believes microgrids have the potential to power India’s future. Pattani states that “the concept of locally generated and consumed energy is evolving how global cities are planning utility systems, with resilience and reliability gaining precedence.”
Pattani says that despite challenges, municipalities, businesses, and citizens will benefit from smart-city-initiative microgrid projects, and that these projects should be integrated into a strategic infrastructure and urban planning.
“Finding a solution to these challenges will not just help bring a major chunk of India out of the dark ages,” he says, “but also power India’s future through her smart cities.”
One Contest, Two Companies, Two Microgrid Visions in Mumbai
As reported in National Geographic, Solar For All and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) joined forces in their second contest for innovative community solar electrification solutions in Mumbai, India. The two first-prize winners, Boond Engineering and Mera Gao Power (MGP), received €200,000 low-interest loans to build microgrids in India.
Boond Engineering designs microgrids serving from 40 to 200 families, giving those households acess to lighting, fans, radio, and television. per grid gain new electricity access for lighting, fans, radio and TV. MGP’s microgrids operate on a smaller scale, providing 10-25 customers with enough power for two lights and cell phone charging.