More than 80 million households across India — nearly 50 per cent of the country’s population- have little or no access to grid-based electricity and rely on kerosene as their primary source for lighting (IFC, 2015). Nearly double that number continue to use firewood and biomass for cooking. Expenditure on fuel and light by the urban and rural poor is the third highest expenditure after food and health, to the extent that poorer households spend up to 20 per cent of their income on energy. These figures clearly highlight the developmental challenges that warrant significant improvements in India’s energy access scenario. While developmental concerns are the core focus, it is worth taking cognisance of the environmental repercussions as well – the Indian energy sector already contributes to more than 70 per cent of the country’s share of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions (WRI, 2012). Any attempt to address the energy access needs of the 300 million people without electricity, through centralised grid-based power production, with its transmission and distribution issues will only exacerbate the situation. With a number of social enterprises focusing their efforts on last mile delivery of energy solutions, there is an opportunity for this under-served population of the country to leapfrog the grid and adopt reliable, decentralised and clean energy solutions. In order to support the deployment of such solutions, however, the existence of a conducive and supportive ecosystem is imperative. Towards this effort, WWF-India and SELCO Foundation have partnered to develop an approach for analysing the energy access ecosystem to consequently plan interventions that bridge energy access gaps and promote large-scale replication of renewable energy (RE) applications/solutions…

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