Climate-neutral energy supply for rural India

2,000 families in India's Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh states now have access to a sustainable energy supply.

The Climate-Neutral Energy Supply for Rural Areas project made this possible. With support from the German Environment Ministry's International Climate Initiative (IKI), the project has created fresh economic prospects.

A pioneering cooperative Indo-German venture has installed renewables-based electricity generators in 26 Indian villages, where they have helped establish a chain of productive uses. The IKI-funded project was successfully concluded in September 2014.

Two men at a market stall. Picture GIZ IndiaThe project developed readily replicable solutions for rural energy supply that are tailored to local conditions. These solutions harness the potential of locally available agricultural wastes and other, renewable energy sources. Novel business models for energy services provided by village communities have emerged in the two pilot regions. Close cooperation with local people, especially with the women in the communities, has been the key to successful project design and implementation.

A newly established women's cooperative is a veritable trailblazer. The cooperative uses an electric flour mill to produce high-grade food supplement compounds from a range of cereals and other products. The compounds are an ideal nutritional supplement for pregnant women and infants in a region in which undernourishment is still widespread. The production process is carbon-neutral. Since conclusion of the project, the people in the village have continued production on their own.

The project was implemented on the ground by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). It was one of the first to qualify for IKI support and thus contributed substantially to further, successful cooperation between India and Germany. Under IKI, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety is currently promoting 18 bilateral projects in India with an overall grant volume of EUR 56.9 million.

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