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"Modern Energy Access to All in Rural India: An Integrated Implementation Strategy"

May 25, 2011: Sharan Pinto installs a solar panel antenna on a house roof in Nada, India. Across India, small companies and aid programs are bypassing the central electricity grid to deliver solar panels to the rural poor.
AP Photo

"Modern Energy Access to All in Rural India: An Integrated Implementation Strategy"

Journal Article, Energy Policy, volume 39, issue 12, pages 7803-7814

December 2011

Author: Balachandra Patil, Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2009–2010

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Energy Technology Innovation Policy; Environment and Natural Resources; Science, Technology, and Public Policy



This article is based on research conducted during the author's research fellowship with the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group during 2009–2010.



Expanding energy access to the rural population of India presents a critical challenge for its government. The presence of 364 million people without access to electricity and 726 million who rely on biomass for cooking indicate both the failure of past policies and programs, and the need for a radical redesign of the current system. We propose an integrated implementation framework with recommendations for adopting business principles with innovative institutional, regulatory, financing and delivery mechanisms. The framework entails establishment of rural energy access authorities and energy access funds, both at the national and regional levels, to be empowered with enabling regulatory policies, capital resources and the support of multi-stakeholder partnership. These institutions are expected to design, lead, manage and monitor the rural energy interventions. At the other end, trained entrepreneurs would be expected to establish bioenergy-based micro-enterprises that will produce and distribute energy carriers to rural households at an affordable cost. The ESCOs will function as intermediaries between these enterprises and the international carbon market both in aggregating carbon credits and in trading them under CDM. If implemented, such a program could address the challenges of rural energy empowerment by creating access to modern energy carriers and climate change mitigation.


For more information about this publication please contact the ETIP Coordinator at 617-496-5584.

Full text of this publication is available at:

For Academic Citation:

Patil, Balachandra. "Modern Energy Access to All in Rural India: An Integrated Implementation Strategy." Energy Policy 39, no. 12 (December 2011): 7803-7814.

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