Workshop on Renewable Energy for Rural Empowerment
October 27, 2010 - 10.00 To 17.00 Hours
Access to clean and affordable energy is vital to growing economies like India and other developing nations. It assumes great significance against a background of addressing poverty reduction, environmental concerns, livelihood issues and the overall quality of life. Improving access to energy is not an end in itself, but an essential means of achieving sustainable development, acting as a driver for; (1) transportation, (2) communications, (3) information technology, (4) level of comfort, and most importantly for a developing country like India, a means of improving livelihood opportunities, and social evolution for the vast majority of the population deprived of energy services.
Renewable energy has a special role to play in improving access to cleaner energy in remote rural areas. Use of renewable energy technologies (RETs) can reduce drudgery of women & children particularly girly by providing more time for education, leisure and economic activity instead of collecting biomass for meeting energy needs. Improved health and education, combined with more time to undertake non-energy related activities, are important goals in themselves. However, access to modern energy services have also added value of helping local populations in engaging in income-generating activities. Demand for services associated with RETs can help generate local economic activity based on these technologies, in addition to the means to power local enterprises. Applications of RETs for productive activities can lead to job creation and improved livelihoods, both of which can contribute to significant increases in productivity in rural areas.
However, despite the potential of RETs to catalyse rural development, access to these technologies has not always translated into widespread adoption and effective performance. To overcome these barriers, there is an urgent need to develop appropriate models to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy that is designed around the needs of the community with adequate servicing and delivery infrastructure.
With the above background, a parallel workshop is proposed to be organised at Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC) on ‘Renewable Energy for Rural Empowerment’. The workshop would have an inaugural session that would provide an introduction to the background, objectives and framework of the workshop. This will be followed by a technical session on ‘Access to Clean Energy and its Linkage to Women Empowerment and Livelihood Generation’ that will focus on understanding how mainstreaming renewable energy can not only help in stimulating regional development and improving the quality of life, but also in enhancing livelihood opportunity of the vast majority of the rural population deprived of energy services. The second technical session will be on ‘Innovative Business Models for Mainstreaming Renewable Energy in Rural Areas’. The objective of this technical session would be to understand how some of models have succeeded in overcoming the barriers to RET deployment at scale and getting feedback and inputs for designing models for mainstreaming renewable energy. The purpose of this session will also be to review the existing policies, programs and funding mechanisms for promoting renewable energy based sound business models. The learnings and experiences shared at the workshop from the past renewable energy projects will help in getting feedback at the plenary/ concluding session of the workshop on the existing policies and programs for upscaling clean energy technology interventions to develop a realistic strategy and action plan for scaling up renewable energy for rural empowerment.
For more details, please contact:
Mr K P Sukumaran
Mobile: +91 9818856975