Working with govt to support mini-grid sector: Rockefeller

New Delhi, Dec 25 (PTI) The Rockefeller Foundation, which has launched an initiative to use renewable power-based mini grids to light up villages, today said it is working with the government to develop central and state policies that support growth of the mini-grid sector in India.

Through its initiative, the US-based foundation currently has 94 fully operational plants that are serving about 30,000 people.

"Beyond our goal of electrifying 1,000 villages, we are working with government to develop central and state policies that support the growth of the mini-grid sector, providing financing and engaging other investors to encourage their participation," the Rockefeller Foundation (Asia) MD Ashvin Dayal said. He said these mini-grids can be built in 2-3 months, which can rely on renewable power and provide enough consistent energy to light up multiple homes and businesses within a village. Currently, over 3,500 small businesses, 150 telecom towers and over 31,000 people are powered by mini grids under the Foundation?s Smart Power for Rural Development initiative. He also said there has been a rapid change in the policy and regulatory environment in India to support the deployment of renewable energy based mini grids. The drafting of a dedicated National Mini-grid Policy, state-level policy by UP along with keenness by Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha to introduce measures for such deployment reflects Indias intent to bridge the current policy gaps and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and investors, Dayal said. The Foundation has initially focused on states with the least access to electricity that includes Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. PTI RR ARD

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