Industry leaders back renewable energy initiatives at The Climate Group India Off-Grid Energy Summit

Reading time: 3 minutes
19 August 2015

New Delhi: The Climate Group today hosted the first ever national summit on India’s off-grid renewable energy sector, the India Off-Grid Summit 2015 in New Delhi.  

The summit was organized in partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, in association with the Clean Energy Access Network and South Asia Network for Clean Energy Network (CLEAN), and was opened by Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary MNRE, Government of India.

The opportunity of renewable energy and off-grid solutions in India is hugely significant. It can not only help connect rural communities to clean energy, but also address development and emissions reductions challenges in one of the fastest-growing countries in the world.

Business, finance and policy leaders came together at the summit to share their visions for this low carbon future, including Svati Bhogle, Chair, CLEAN; H.E. Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India; H.E. Richard R. Verma, Ambassador of the United States to India; Ashvin Dayal, Associate Vice President and Managing Director (Asia), Rockefeller Foundation; Giles Bristow, Director of Programmes, Forum for the Future; and Harish Hande, Chief Operating Officer, SELCO Foundation and Co-founder SELCO India.

During his key note address Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, MNRE, said: “We are thankful to The Climate Group for providing a platform for the crucial discussion around renewable energy opportunities and to address the prevailing power crisis issues in India. We must look at the speed, scale and skill for the off-grid energy sector in India as we have even bigger climate and energy efficiency goals lying ahead of us. Off-grid solar solutions are a vital part of India’s energy mix as making solar affordable will impact the growth of renewable energy in India in coming years. We call upon YES Bank, The Climate Group and other stake holders to come together and make a definitive action point to address energy deficiency issues by February 2016.”

On the sidelines of the event US Ambassador Richard Verma and MNRE Secretary Upendra Tripathy announced the investment of US$50 million for the “PACEsetter Fund”, to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy solutions. The PACEsetter Fund is the principal funding arm of Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), an initiative of the Governments of the United States and India to harness commercial enterprise and bring clean energy access to unserved and underserved individuals and communities. 

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group said: “40% of India is still not connected to the grid – a number we could eventually connect via cheaper, cleaner and more reliable renewable sources. Off-grid energy business models not only have the potential to connect millions of people in India, South Asia and other parts of the world to clean electricity, but also provide them with a platform for moving out of poverty while avoiding the carbon emissions associated with conventional development models.”

Also speaking at the event Krishnan Pallassana, India Director, The Climate Group, said: “Renewable energy will play a key role in shaping India’s long term energy future and our progression toward a decarbonized economy. We know off-grid solutions cannot only connect the millions of people who still don’t have access to clean, sustainable energy, but help create a low carbon, prosperous future with health, social and economic benefits for all.”

The India Off-Grid Energy Summit is organized as part of The Climate Group’s access to rural energy in India project, Bijli - Clean Energy for All, principally funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, The project aims to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and simultaneously enhance the lives of rural villagers in India. Bijli connects villages in three states to clean, cheap solar powered micro-grids and stand-alone LED lamps and phone chargers. The project is sustainable, bringing profits to local partners involved and saving energy and money for the villagers.

Summit participants were also invited to take part in technical sessions, organized on themes including Innovative Business Models, International Finance Corporation and Access to Affordable Finance with The Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation

Follow our activity in New Delhi on Twitter @ClimateGroup using #OffGridSummit.

 

ENDS

 

Media contact

Anisha Laming - India Communications Manager, The Climate Group

+91 9953777562 | 011 42003342-43 | alaming@theclimategroup.org

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