The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) led by R K Pachauri on Wednesday has commissioned a solar micro-grid connection (SMG) in Tanda village of Jagdishpur block (about 80 km from Lucknow) in Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi parliamentary constituency.
Addressing a press conference after returning from Tanda, Pachauri said, “TERI's efforts have concentrated over the years on finding technological and institutional solutions to this complex set of challenges. The project at Jagdishpur is representative of the solutions TERI has developed and implemented at the grassroots level across the length and breadth of India and in other parts of the world.”
He was accompanied by Britain’s Junior Minister for Energy and Climate Change Baroness Verma, who is also a member of the House of Lords.
Expressing his gratitude to the British government, Pachauri said, “TERI has been fortunate to receive support from various organisations, including the UK Department of International Development."
They also gave away special cooking- stoves capable of meeting the cooking requirement of 20 homes.
Stressing on the need to provide clean energy to rural households, Pachauri said, “Ever since its inception TERI has been deeply concerned with solving the massive problem of lack of access to modern forms of energy that a large part of humanity suffers from across the globe. The problem in India is particularly acute with almost 400 million people without access to electricity and almost twice this number using biomass, often of inferior quality, for cooking on highly inefficient and polluting cooking stoves.”
Baroness Verma and Pachauri were visiting the village as part of the Department of International Development (DFID) and TERI’s 'Clean Energy Access Partnership' initiatives.
The partnership revolves around the entire value chain of clean energy delivery for rural households.
The key features include: research and customisation of new products/standards; piloting new business models involving public private partnerships; close networking with financial institutions and capacity building of stakeholders. It has contributed to the development of new cooking-stove designs, innovative lighting products/systems (solar micro grid, Li-ion based LED lanterns) and integration of lighting and cooking through the Integrated Domestic Energy System (IDES).
The problem in India is particularly acute with almost 400 million people without access to electricity and almost twice this number using biomass, often of inferior quality, for cooking on highly inefficient and polluting cooking stoves, Pachauri pointed out.
Speaking to mediapersons, the British minister said, “Cooking on inefficient and polluting cook stoves causes severe health problems for millions of women in India. Collecting fuel puts women and children at risk and limits education opportunities. India and the UK are working together on an innovative project to provide improved cookstoves and economic opportunities to thousands of women”.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the key states for both, the lighting and cooking initiatives of TERI.
Under ‘Lighting a Billion Lives’, close to 400 villages have been covered in the state through direct interventions touching more than 330,000 lives. Similarly, the initiative on cookstoves has reached out to close to 2131 households in U.P.
The initiatives under this partnership focus on women and children who are primarily impacted by indoor air pollution from traditional cookstoves and kerosene based lamps for lighting.
The effort is not only to provide direct benefit of clean energy technologies to women but also bring them into the mainstream of the energy enterprise value chain.
Hence, over 50 per cent Village Level Entrepreneurs are women and women groups are being encouraged/supported to locally assemble, construct and sell clean energy technologies/products.
The Improved Cookstoves Program (ICP) caters to the basic cooking needs of rural communities and has covered close to 4126 households in different regions of India.
The benefits of the ICS program include: High reduction in toxic emissions during cooking in rural households; reduction in consumption of cooking fuel; reduction in cooking time; reduction in direct exposure of women and accompanying children to toxic emissions.