We are thrilled to announce the launch of our latest report, Beyond Off Grid: Integrating Mini Grids with India's Evolving Electricity System!
India's ambitious goal of providing electrification to all its villages by May 2018 and 24x7 power to all households by March 2019 will require an expansion of off-grid electricity provided by private energy service companies (ESCOs) in addition to the expansion of the nationak grid. This report addresses the policy, regulatory, and market infrastructure needed for these two sets of electricity providers – ESCOs and the national grid – to co-exist and collaborate to accelerate energy access. It draws on primary and secondary research including extensive stakeholder interviews across central and state governments, private mini-grid enterprises, and investors and academia to develop a multi-dimensional understanding and possible roadmap for enabling energy access in India. We are grateful to Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Asha impact and The Rockefeller Foundation for their partnership on this project.
Our report: Building Business Resilience: MSME Perspectives is out! See the full version and an executive summary here. The report is a culmination of months in-depth interviews with flood-affected businesses, experts, policymakers, and analysis to identify ways that public, private, and philanthropic initiatives can a) help limit the immediate damage from environmental shocks like excess rainfall; and b) contribute to faster recovery and lesser long-run impact from the damage that does occur. Thanks to Mercy Corps International, TANSTIA-FNF Service Centre, Nurture Trust, and Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry for support and partnership.
On February 10 Okapi and Mercy Corps convened a worskhop in Delhi that brought together policymakers, insurance providers, and potential customers to jointly consider product innovations, supply-side collaborations and necessary market conditions that would create a functioning insurance market for both MSMEs and the companies who insure them. Find the notes on the workshop here.
Okapi, in collaboration with WWF-India, is undertaking a study that seeks to identify challenges and opportunities in the clean energy innovation ecosystem, particularly for SMEs in order to better understand the key elements of the innovation ecosystem around SMEs addressing clean energy in India and the broader dynamics of this ecosystem. The ecosystem mapping analysis aspect of this Study will help policy makers, the finance community (government and private), and innovators better understand the key challenges faced by the SME sector, who the key actors are regionally and nationally, and how they can connect with and support innovators.
Okapia (that's the plural of Okapi) will be out and about discussing our work in January and February. The Energy & Environment team is holding a workshop on Air Quality Measurement, Modeling, and Pollution Source Insight: Potential Roles for Low-Cost Sensors as part of our ongoing work on science as a catalyst for informed debate and action. Lead Researcher Charis Idicheria will be speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Social Media and Disaster Relief conference in Mumbai on Jan 23-24. Managing Director Jessica Seddon will be speaking at the SIX-NESTA Wayfinder Conference in London in mid-February. You can also catch her fortnightly columns in Mint here.