Access to energy, especially in the form of electricity, continues to be low in most rural areas in India. With about 40% of the population living without electricity, energy access has become a development imperative. The non-availability of energy limits the choices available to the poor in increasing productivity of livelihoods; moving up the value chain in these livelihoods and diversifying their livelihoods base. Provision of clean energy can lead to improved economics and profitability for many livelihood activities. In Bihar, there is a wide demand-supply gap that needs to be bridged with over 80% of the population living without access to electricity.
JEEViKA has been supporting decentralized energy solutions that go beyond using conventional and traditional fuels and are therefore cleaner and more energy efficient. For instance, through a collaborative effort with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) solar home lighting systems will be installed in 10000 households in the project area. More than 1000 households are using solar torch lights.
Going forward, JEEViKA will support successful innovations in decentralized energy solutions that can provide sustainable energy access to the huge, under served rural community of Bihar. It will seek to leverage the state’s natural and strategic advantage in renewable resources by focusing on solar, biomass, small scale hydro and wind power based solutions. These may include, among others, solar-based home electricity systems, energy efficient cook stoves, micro-hydro and/or biomass based gasifiers etc. Special emphasis will be given to models that engage the rural workforce in various technical capacities such as field installation staff, operation and maintenance, after sales services etc.