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MNRE invites comments on the National Policy on RE based Mini/Micro grids draft

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Sustainability Outlook
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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has invited comments from stakeholders on its draft ‘National Policy for Renewable Energy based Micro and Mini Grids’.

MNRE is issuing a policy to provide implementation solutions and approaches for overcoming common issues and challenges that hamper the growth of the mini-grid sector. Individual states are encouraged to refer to this policy document for developing their respective programmes, policies and regulations.

The main principles of the policy include:

  • Promoting mainstream renewable energy mini-grids for enhancing access to affordable energy services, and improving local economy
  • Streamlined project development procedures for energy service companies
  • Frameworks to operate along with the Distribution Company (Discom) grid
  • Optimizing access to central financial assistance and other incentives
  • Fostering innovation in mini-grid models to cater to rural needs

The MNRE targets deployment of at least 10,000 renewable energy-based micro and mini-grid projects across the country with a minimum installed renewable energy capacity of 500MW in the next five years (taking average size as 50kW). Each micro and mini-grid project should be able to meet the basic needs of every household in the vicinity, and also aspire to provide energy for services beyond lighting such as powering fans, mobile charging and commercial requirements.

The consumer categories for fixing tariff/billing include :

  • Households
  • Agriculture
  • Commercial
  • Productive
  • Social institutions
  • Government or Panchayat Offices.
  • Municipal Functions

As most communities in rural areas are very sensitive to price, there is a need to ensure the affordability of the service. Some of the stratergies to be undertaken include:

  • Aligning Demand with Supply
  • Setting Tariff for Sale of Electricity
  • Charge for Connections
  • Grants and Subsidies
Author: sustainabilityoutlook