WISE organized a training programme on ‘Model RE based Micro-grid Power Projects in Remote Areas’ in the WISE Training Hall, in March 2014. The training programme is the first in a series of two programmes that are being organized under the project ‘Scaling up Deployment of RE Technology for Promoting Innovative Business Models’, jointly supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), GoI, and the World Bank. The three-day residential training programme, attended by representatives from state nodal agencies, state governments, state electricity regulatory commissions, electricity utilities, NGOs/manufacturers involved in implementation of micro-grid projects in India, was inaugurated by Dr Satish Agnihotri, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), GoI. In his inaugural address, Dr Agnihotri, spoke at length about the need to develop micro-grid systems in the country to bridge the large disparity existing between rural and urban areas in terms of electricity distribution. He said that it is essential to provide equal support to the three pillars of renewable energy; namely, grid connected power, off-grid power, and non-grid power, in order to achieve development of the sector in the true sense. He also reiterated that energy security can be ensured only when renewable energy development goes hand in hand with energy efficiency and development of the smart grid.

The programme deliberated on the various RE based micro-grid technologies available presently and the costs involved, different aspects of preparation of detailed project report such as legal, policy, regulatory framework and guidelines, computation of cost generation, revenue and viability gap funding, and the lender’s and developer’s roles in financing of the micro-grids. Operational experiences of different micro-grid projects were also discussed. Besides, a site visit was arranged to a decentralized biogas based power plant located at Kolvan near Pune.

Apart from the WISE faculty, prominent speakers at the programme included D K Shrivastava, Director, Grid Management Division, Central Electricity Authority, New Delhi; D S Kulkarni, Managing Director, Wat-ere-Source Technologies Private Limited, Pune; Akanksha Chaurey, CEO, IT Power Consulting Private Limited, New Delhi; and P Manimekalai, DGM, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. The programme also had a high-level panel discussion which was chaired by Sudeep Jain, CMD, Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency, Chennai. The programme was coordinated by Surendra Pimparkhedkar, Fellow and Head, Centre for Renewable Regulation and Policy, WISE.