India Energy Access Summit highlights how Decentralized Renewable Energy can accelerate India’s Power-for-All goals

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13 February 2018

NEW DELHI: National and international leaders gathered today at the third India Energy Access Summit in Delhi, to explore how India is leading on its rural electrification efforts to extend energy access across the country through clean sources.

The event convened by international not-for-profit The Climate Group and the Clean Energy Access Network in partnership with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India brought together a broad range of high level speakers including Shri Desh Deepak Verma, Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India and Dr. Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, amongst others.

Through a series of high-level discussions, speakers highlighted the potential of decentralized renewable energy in accelerating India’s energy transition and supporting the country’s commitments to deliver on its Nationally Determined Contributions on climate and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Discussions also focused on how India can enhance interoperability between the grid and decentralized renewable energy to help drive these goals.

Jarnail Singh, India Director, The Climate Group said: “The India Energy Access Summit aims to explore the complementary role of decentralized renewable energy in accelerating clean power for all – the mission that underpins India’s superlative performance towards achieving its sustainable development goals.

“The 2018 summit capitalized on the unprecedented political will that is currently being exhibited by the Government of India to electrify all households by 2019. We look forward to working with leaders and innovators from India and beyond to drive universal energy access."

Speaking at the summit today, Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group said: “Energy access is not just about electrifying a house: it is about building a cleaner and sustainable future for the whole nation.

India has really ambitious climate goals and huge potential for a global leadership role, while delivering progress at home. The world of energy is changing rapidly with the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, where new technologies such as, blockchain, internet of things, artificial intelligence, data and software are becoming as important for the energy market.”

Dr. S.N Srinivas, CEO, Clean Energy Access Network said: “The summit aims to get all stakeholders together from the private sector, government and non-governmental agencies, donors, manufacturers and information technology, to present progress and plans that can exploit the hidden potential of decentralized renewable energy systems to meet India’s energy requirements through green and clean paths.

“Over 100 practitioners gathered together to discuss how innovations such as super efficient appliances can reduce electrical loads, investments & running costs significantly, and how using block chain technology can increase management efficiency.”


Now in its third year, the summit annually brings together policy makers, investors and businesses in the decentralized renewable energy space to identify opportunities, challenges and successes in India’s fast-changing energy landscape. This year, the event is split over two days (12-13 February) with sessions ranging from India’s leadership on 100% electrification by 2022, to enabling India’s mainstream financing for scaling up decentralized renewable energy. Highlights from today are listed below:

Announcing investments in the sector, Dr. Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation announced that the organisation is making a US$3 million dollar investment in cKers Finance – a new, specialized sustainable energy non-banking financial company that seeks to bring India’s distributed renewable energy businesses to scale. cKers will provide access to financial products at reasonable rates and flexible terms, to help distributed renewable energy operators grow and accelerate their reach.

Mr Desh Deepak Verma, Chief Secretary, Rajya Sabha, said: “To achieve 24/7 power for all and rural electrification, renewables and off-grid options have to be explored. This was initially considered as a duplication of expenses by some in the government, since the grid is also being built. But in my opinion, it will take 10 years for the grid to connect and work from both ends should continue - the public sector fossil-based grid which is reaching rural areas and the private sector financed off-grid from the local end - which can then meet and create synergy.“

One of the key highlights from the summit included an announcement from Tata Trusts’ Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE), Barefoot College and Frontier Markets. In a first-of-its-kind nationwide search, the organisation’s jointly announced the “Social Alpha Energy Challenge” to find high impact innovations that could drive system change in the field of energy. In this ambitious hunt, the challenge is inviting entries from innovators across various stages of the energy lifecycle - generation, transmission and distribution, storage, and consumption, in multiple sectors such as households, farm, industry, infrastructure, buildings, utility and transport. For more information, please visit

If you are interested in interviews with any of the speakers, please email More information can be found here.

The Climate Group’s CEO Helen Clarkson and India Director Jarnail Singh and Dr. S.N Srinivas, CEO, CLEAN are available for interviews.

The final agenda and list of speakers is now available online.

Follow the Summit on using #EnergyAccess2018 @Cli­mateGroup and @thecleannetwork





For more information on the Summit, including interview opportunities with The Climate Group and Clean Energy Access Network spokespeople, please contact:

Anisha Laming

India Communications Manager, The Climate Group | +91 9953777562

Gunjan Jain | +91 9811777387

About The Climate Group

The Climate Group is an international non-profit organization, founded in 2004, with offices in London, Beijing New Delhi and New York. Our mission is to accelerate climate action. Our goal is a world of under 2 degrees celcius of global warming and greater prosperity for all, without delay. We do this by bringing together powerful networks of business and governments that shift global markets and policies. We act as a catalyst to take innovation and solutions to scale, using the power of communications to build ambition and pace. We focus on the greatest global opportunities for change. Our business campaigns RE100 (renewable electricity), EP100 (energy productivity) and EV100 (electric vehicles), brought to you as part of the We Mean Business coalition, help companies to reduce emissions, enhance resilience, and boost the bottom line. They champion leadership, encourage the sharing of best practice, and tackle barriers to action. Visit and follow us on Twitter @ClimateGroup and Facebook @TheClimateGroup.

About Clean Energy Access Network

Clean Energy Access Network is an all India representative organization launched in 2014 with a clear mandate to support, unify and grow the decentralized clean energy sector in India. It particularly aims to bring together diverse stakeholders across India working to improve energy access for the rural and urban poor and create an inspiring model for countries around the world to follow. CLEAN is technology agnostic. Technologies include solar, wind, bioenergy and pico hydro. The scale of its members' operations ranges from pico solutions to larger, decentralized solutions. CLEAN recognizes that off-grid energy solutions move beyond bridging the energy gap by addressing lighting, cooking, pumping needs and so on to positively affect outcomes in education, health and agriculture and enhances livelihood opportunities. Decentralised clean energy has an impact on the overall quality of life. Visit and follow us on Twitter @thecleannetwork and Facebook @thecleannetwork

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