Focal Areas and Activities

Over the years, AIREC has strengthened its activities in policy analysis and advocacy and is currently working in several focal areas through formal and informal engagements with various stakeholders.

  • Working directly with the policy community

Several Collective members continue to engage with various ministries to provide inputs for mainstreaming DRE. Some of the members were involved in developing the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The Collective has recently prepared the policy guidelines for the Government of West Bengal for Grid Connected Roof-top Solar Scheme for the city of Kolkata. (More here)

  • Demystifying and elaborating on issues around decentralised renewable energy

Seeking to build a grounded view of the potential of DRE in bridging energy access gaps, the Collective has putting together a series of briefing papers that aim to dispel myths around DRE and provide rounded perspectives on various contentious issues. (More here)

  • Issues at the state and local levels

DRE, by its very nature, is and should be strongly rooted in the local context. Therefore, while national-level initiatives and mechanisms are important to foster a favourable ecosystem, it is equally (if not more) critical to understand the local (state/district/village) conditions. The Collective has recently explored the RE landscape in the state of Odisha. (More here)

  • Renewable energy for rural livelihoods

Rural livelihood activities are characterised by low productivity and low unreliable income. Access to reliable energy can considerably enhance rural productivity and income, and DRE options have tremendous potential. With the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and in partnership with Greentech Knowledge Solutions, the Collective has developed RE technology packages for important rural livelihood sectors. (More here)

  • DRE devices and mini grids

AIREC, in consultation with the government, bankers, regulators, funding agencies, law makers and practitioners, produced a rich harvest of ideas documented in a strategic roadmap document titled Scaling Up Off-grid Renewables. (More here)

  • Clean cooking energy for all

An estimated 75% of rural Indian households continue to use firewood and chips, dung cake, and coal/charcoal as cooking fuels. Traditional cookstoves consume excessive amounts of biomass and cause health-threatening levels of indoor air pollution, which causes more than 480,000 premature deaths in India annually (WHO). Against this backdrop, AIREC seeks to integrate the opinions and preferences of the users into the decision-making processes and incentives for clean cooking energy. AIREC—with support from the RE component of the Indo-German Energy Programme—has developed a decision-support tool to evaluate clean cooking energy solutions. (More here)

AIREC is also working with the Tata Trusts in an ambitious learning-based project to ensure the availability of cooking energy services and products at the doorstep of the users.

  • Facilitating access to finance

As practitioners, AIREC members recognise how critical cheap and convenient financing is to accelerating energy access through the adoption of DRE. Financing is key for both entrepreneurs and end users. The Collective is keen to organize ‘learning tours’ for bankers to areas where other banks have successfully channeled RE finance.