Decentralisation in Electricity Services with Reference to Renewable Energy in India
Keywords:Renewable Energy, Electricity, Local Governance, Decentralisation
This paper deals with how small scale decentralisedrenewable electricity has the potential to drive democratic decentralisation in India, offering self-reliance to local communities in their energy needs. The focus is on rural local government institutions or the Panchayati Raj Institutions and their capacity to use alternative methods of decentralised grid technology for electricity generation to attain autonomy from the states and the Centre in the long run. The author examines challenges for decentralised renewable energy and why centralised generation does not meet the objective of access to electricity, rural electrification and the needs of the poorest in the present scenario. It is further argued how the status quo stymies the realisation of the purpose of Panchayati Raj, often requiring local governments to depend on higher tiers of government for sustenance and local development. Through various case studies and evaluation of existing practices possible models and alternatives are also suggested.
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