In the last few years, India electrified nearly all its households by extending the national grid. Yet, reliability of available power is still a major concern. Some rural and remote areas still face power cuts of nearly 10-12 hours a day. Lack of reliable power prevents local economic development as factories and shops cannot function efficiently. Domestic expense also increases as households rely on expensive alternatives such as diesel run generators.
While the centralised power grid will see improvements over time and might be able to provide more reliable power, decentralized renewable energy based mini-grids can also be an effective supplementary solution.
To understand the role of distributed renewable energy in the future of India’s electricity systems, we interviewed Saugata Datta, India Country Director of Husk Power Systems, a company that operates 100s of mini-grids across India and Africa. Saugata has worked with several leading renewable energy companies in India for over two decades and has expertise in clean energy solutions and energy access projects.
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