harnessing-renewable-energy-for-rural-development

CONTEXT

The biomass firing can account for integrating renewable energy in coal-based power plants. It can also become carbon neutral with appropriate harvesting, processing and transportation management. The biomass firing does not require back up conventional capacity installation unlike solar and wind to meet the increasing peak demand.Biomass firing can help India secure 50% energy from non fossil sources by 2030.

TRANSFORMING THE FACE OF RURAL INDIA

  • The Indian villages are beaming with unpresented development, infrastructural facilities, access to basic services and prosperity for all. But at the time of Independence our villages were in a deplorable state lacking basic services, infrastructure and connectivity.
  • India was among the first countries in the world which institutionalized development and deployment of renewable energy by creating an exclusive department under the union government in 1982.In the due course of time it has evolved into a full-fledged ministry now known as Ministry of new and renewable energy.
  • During initial phases, research and development efforts were primarily focused on assessment of potentials of various renewable energy sources in India, with time various ambitious programmes were launched by the government for development of appropriate technologies, creation of capacity and deployment of renewable energy devices in various social economic sectors.
  • Call drivers of growth and expansion of reasonable rate in India have been energy security, energy axis, energy power demand and climate change.
  • India stands at fourth position in terms of total installed renewable energy capacity, 5th in solar power and 4th in wind power installed capacities.
  • The rural transformation has remained a prime theme along with the progressive journey of renewable energy capacity in India.

BIOGAS AND BIOMASS

  • Biogas is the first clean and renewable source of energy that was developed specifically for rural areas and was promoted by the government during the 1980s.
  • Presently, the Ministry of new and Renewable energy is running a comprehensive new national biogas and organic manure programme for dissemination and deployment of biogas plants in remote, rural and semi urban areas of the country.
  • In rural and remote areas, biogas plants are reliable sources of clean, low-cost and environment friendly fuel for cooking, lighting and fulfilling small power needs of farmers, cattle owners and individual households.
  • Also the larger adoption of biogas plants, cattle dung waste or toilet linked has improved sanitation and hygiene in rural and semi rural areas, the plants have also mitigated drudgery of women and led to saving of time for them for other livelihood activities.
  • Biogas is also used as a source fuel for power generation and thermal application in rural areas to meet local needs. Biogas power generation and thermal energy application programme has been run by the government for setting up of biogas plants in the size range of 30 m³ to 2500 m³ per day for corresponding power generation capacity.
  • Biomass is another abundant source of clean power in rural areas which is being promoted by the ministry for large-scale adoption.
  • Gasifiers are generally installed to recover energy from biomass resources that is agriculture residue, bio waste from industries, bagasse of sugar mills etc for power generation.
  • It helps in environmentally safe utilisation of surplus agro residues which if left unutilised would be disposed of by burning in the open fields.
  • Power is 26,000 MW to 18,000 MW from agriculture and agro-industrial residues and around 8000 MW from bagasse cogeneration and Sugar Mills.

SOLAR POWER - LIGHTING LIVES

  • Solar energy is the chief renewable energy source driving transformation in rural areas by lighting the lives of villagers.
  • Solar energy based decentralised and distributed applications have benefited millions of people in villages by meeting their cooking, lighting and other energy needs in an environmentally friendly way.
  • The social and economic benefits include reduction in the dream of rural women and girls engaged in collection of fuel wood from long distances and cooking in smoky kitchens.
  • The wide scale adoption of solar devices at household and community level has also enhanced employment generation and livelihood opportunities at village level.
  • Ministry of renewable energy runs a comprehensive of grit and the centralised how long will take application program for deployment of solar street lights, solar study lamps and solar power packs to meet out electricity and lighting need in rural areas.
  • PM KUSUM- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evan Utthaan Mahabhiyan, growing power and farmers fields: the scheme has been launched with an objective to provide energy and water security to farmers, enhance their income, de-dieselise the farm sector and reduce environment pollution.
    • One of the largest initiatives of the world to provide clean energy to more than 35 lakh farmers by solar rising that agriculture pumps.

SMALL HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

  • The Ministry of renewable energy runs a special hydropower programme upto the capacity of 25 MW to meet power requirements of remote and isolated areas in a decentralised manner.
  • Such projects also create employment opportunities for local people and enhance livelihood opportunities in rural areas.
  • Special emphasis is being led to north-eastern states which are beleaguered by large energy deficit and poor quality of energy services.
  • Small hydropower projects have been found effective in generating sufficient electricity to power domestic households, schools and clinics in rural areas and catalyse entrepreneurship activities.

CONCLUSION

  • The wide and vast renewable energy programme has improved quality of life and has created and strengthened livelihood resources and has made dreams come true for disadvantaged people in rural areas.
  • The supply of renewable energy power to schools, hostels, panchayats and other public service institutions is helping communities at large and also contributing in enhancing participation of women in education, social and livelihood activities.
  • Amid the current COVID-19 crisis local renewable energy solutions in villages can generate new livelihoods for internal migrants apart from supporting jobs and entrepreneurship with better power supply to address critical issues like energy poverty, agriculture productivity, food security, health and climate variability.

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