Ground Report | New Delhi: Smart Power India facilitates; In its endeavor to ensure last-mile energy access to the rural communities in India, Smart Power India (SPI), a subsidiary of The Rockefeller Foundation has recently marked the operations of the 500th mini-grid(A mini-grid is an off-grid electricity distribution network involving small-scale electricity generation. Often conflated with microgrids, a mini-grid is sometimes defined as having a power rating less than 11kW and as being disconnected from utility-scale grids.) in Laxmanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The total capacity stands at 15.1 MW for generating renewable energy for the rural masses.
SPI and its Energy Service Companies (ESCO) partners’ are credited with the world’s largest portfolio of mini-grids. Smart Power India has been working in the states of U.P., Bihar, and Jharkhand for the last six years towards ensuring equitable energy access to the last mile. As of date, the program impacts half a billion rural lives. It has partnered with 13 developers, including Tata Power Renewable Microgrid (TPRMG), Husk Power, Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Tara Urja, and MLINDA.
Commenting on the addition of the 500th mini-grid, Jaideep Mukherjee, CEO at Smart Power India said, “We proudly support the Government of India’s initiative of Atmanirbhar Bharat with our Micro-Enterprise Development (MED) program where we work towards providing last-mile electricity for productive uses in rural India. We are glad to partner with such enterprising ESCOs in achieving this historical milestone. Access to reliable energy is the basis for the development of any economy. and we continue to support our partners in achieving the same.
SPI has been impacting the lives of rural communities aligning with the UN SDGs, in achieving the following goals :
- SDG7 – ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy through its off-grid and on-grid programs.
- SDG13 – taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- SDG8 – promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all
- SDG5 – achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls,
- It also touches on other SDGs through services enabled by electricity
Adding to Mukherji, Mukesh Khandelwal, Business Unit Head at one of our ESCOs expressed, “Together with SPI, we have been successful in impacting the lives of several customers through mini-grids. The impact has been manifold, not just restricted to access to electricity for mere lighting purposes but beyond. Livelihood opportunities have increased, there is better access to health care, education, and institutional services.”
Mukherji also added, “SPI is consciously focusing its efforts to work collaboratively with stakeholders to increase access to reliable energy, economic development, and clean energy, not just in India but on a global scale. In order to accelerate this momentum, on 2nd November 2021, we as part of the Rockefeller Foundation proudly announced the creation of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, a multi-stakeholder platform to enable equitable access to energy across the globe.” (Smart Power India facilitates)
The Smart Power India Initiative of The Rockefeller Foundation aims to extend productive power to those without sufficient access to reliable and quality electricity.
- Vision: Drive economic progress by making reliable electricity accessible
- Mission: Impact millions of lives by accelerating electricity access among the rural underserved communities
SPI, a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation, was established in 2015 to develop and scale sustainable models to accelerate electricity access and spur economic development amongst the rural underserved communities. It is committed to creating knowledge and accountability in the public domain through robust evidence-based research and providing field and analytical support to the Government, private sector, implementers, and other donors in their pursuits for rural electricity access. SPI develops and disseminates relevant knowledge in the rural electricity access and services space to promote research and innovation and partner with policymakers, practitioners, and academic institutions to come up with actionable insights and innovative strategies.
While SPI’s work covers the spectrum of supply and demand-side issues of rural electricity, its focus is the last-mile customer. SPI exchanges knowledge by promoting and facilitating platforms for networking, knowledge sharing and collaborative research, networking, knowledge-sharing, and collaborative research.