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Final RGGVY Policy Brief

Final RGGVY Policy Brief

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Published by: rockeydon on Apr 18, 2011
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01/30/2013

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Policy Brief 
RGGVY - PROGRESS UNLIMITED
 
Decentralised Renewable Energy = Energy Equity
 The policy brief is a critique of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) - a Central Government programme of Rural ElectricityInfrastructure development and Household Electricification
 
CONTENTS
Report produced by 
Greenpeace India Society, March 2011
For more information, please contact:
Maitree Dasgupta, Campaigner Climate & Energy, Greenpeace IndiaMobile: +91 9900145422 Email: maitree.dasgupta@greenpeace.orgRamapati Kumar, Campaign Manager, Greenpeace IndiaMobile: +91 9845535414 Email: ramapati.kumar@greenpeace.orgPrinted on 100% recycled paper
Introduction ..................................................................................................
Rural Electrication: Centralised Approach ..................................................Central Government schemes on rural electrication .....................................
Comparative analysis ...................................................................................Way forward .................................................................................................Energy [r]evolution:Greenpeace vision
 
........................................................
 Access to energy is a cornerstone for development and essential for a better quality of life. When this access doesn’t exist
or is very poor, it has negative impacts on everything from education, to health, employment and irrigation - touching all
aspects of life and livelihood. According to a recent United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported study
1
,energy insecurity and allied poverty is critically undermining the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In India today 56% of rural households (approximately 78 million), do not have access to electricity
2
. Rural electricationhas been identied as a critical programme for the development of rural areas. The stated aims of the electrication
programme is to ensure economic development by providing electricity access to all the villages and households in orderto improve the quality of life and livelihood opportunities in the rural areas.Currently, India relies heavily on fossil fuel based energy resources, that fuel climate change and will impact the leastdeveloped the most. Furthermore, it is apparent that the current centralised delivery mechanism has failed to reach the
rural masses. Even if the grid has reached a village, it doesn’t mean that electricity has reached the village as they are therst to be taken off the grid. The Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) is a agship programme of the Government of India which beganin April 2005 and aimed to accelerate the pace of village electrication programme in the country. The Ministry of Power is
the nodal agency implementing the scheme with a mandate on attainment of the National Common Minimum Programme(NCMP) goal of providing access of electricity to all households by 2010.It has been taken as one of the “ Bharat Nirman” programme by Planning Commission and the timeline of the scheme had
been extended by another two years. However looking at the implementation pace Government is planning to take it up inthe 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).
The policy brief analyses the RGGVY scheme as well other rural electrication schemes run by Central Government.
1
http://practicalaction.org/docs/energy/poor-peoples-energy-outlook.pdf 
2
http://www.powermin.nic.in/whats_new/pdf/ENERGY%20MARKETS%20&%20TECHNOLOGIES-REVISED1.pdf 
INTRODUCTION
01
01020406
07
08
 
Rural Electrification: Centralised Approach
 The concept of rural electrication in India has undergone various restructuring programmes. Initially, until 1997, the mainfocus was on “electrication for irrigation” to increase the agricultural production of the country. Later this changed to a
more focused approach, recognising the importance of reaching electricity to rural areas. The Indian energy system is concentrated around the conventional system of centralised electricity generation relyingheavily on coal based thermal power plants and large dams. However, there is a large body of evidence to show that thecentralised system has not been able to balance demand and supply, and has resulted in inequities and environmentaldegradation which has left more than 40% of the Indian rural population in the dark ( Kaudinya, Balachandra andRavindranath, 2009). The priority in terms of electricity has always gone to the rich in India. The tier one cities have always been given the best
power at the expense of smaller cities and villages in India. A good example would be while Mumbai has uninterrupted
good quality power, tier b and smaller cities / villages suffer power outages to the range of 3-12 hours / day
3
. What is alsoclear is that it is the poorest that suffer the most from this inequality.
However, the poor in India are the one who had to pay the price for India’s massive power infrastructure of 169749 MW
4
 
(as on 31.12.2010) in terms of displacement, economic loss and health impacts. Almost all big thermal power plants,dams or nuclear power plants are located in either rural areas or semi-urban parts of the country. Even with this sacrice,
access to quality power and in many cases electricity connection remained a dream for them.
 The nation-wide RGGVY scheme has focused mainly on the development and extension of the centralised grid system to
rural areas to
provide quality and reliable power to rural areas.
 This has however been far from successful.
 Though the scheme set a mandate of electrifying all households, a faulty denition of “village electrication” diluted the aimsignicantly. According to state-wise data, on the RGGVY website
6
, providing all below poverty line (BPL) households free
electricity connection have not materialised in most states of the country (Figure 1). The main reason behind the scheme not delivering its mandate is the rigidity in approach. It has only taken up distributed
decentralised generation (DDG) for places where grid extension is not feasible or cost-effective. It neither encourages the
sustainable renewable energy technologies in areas with potential of quality power generation nor a bottom up approachwhere cluster of villages becomes independent generators and feed back into the grid.
3
http://62.121.14.21/Files/Tasks/Task%20XV%20-%20Network%20Driven%20DSM/Workshops/ 
DSM%20-%20Regulatory%20Approach%20in%20Maharashtra_Palaniappan%20M.pdf 
4
http://www.cea.nic.in/ 
5
http://www.cepe.ethz.ch/publications/workingPapers/CEPE_WP51.pdf 
6
http://rggvy.gov.in/rggvy/rggvyportal/plgsheet_frame3.jsp
0302
Figure 1: State of Rural Electrication in India
5
 

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