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Indian Govt earmarks Rs 5.4 billion subsidy for rural electrification

According to reports, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday informed the Lok Sabha that village mini-grids are important component of universal access to electricity in the country particularly for those villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective.

The minister further said that under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), a scheme launched by Government of India for providing access to electricity to all households, a provision of Rs 540 Crore has been earmarked as subsidy requirement for electrification of villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective by Decentralized Distributed Generation (DDG) during 11th Plan period.

“DDG may be from conventional or renewable sources such as Biomass, Biofuels, Biogas, Mini hydro, geo thermal, Solar etc.,” he said.

“The funding is on the pattern of 90% subsidy from Government of India and 10% loan from Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) or from own funds of the state/loan from financial institutions.”

Implementing Agencies of the projects are either the State Renewable Energy Development Agencies (SREDAs) / Departments promoting renewable energy or State Utilities or the identified Central Power Sector Undertakings (CPSUs). REC is the Nodal Agency for DDG scheme, said the minister. So far 276 projects have been sanctioned under DDG schemes.

He said the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), under the Off-Grid Solar Applications Scheme of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, is providing a subsidy of 30% of the project cost limited to Rs.150 per watt peak for establishment of mini/micro grid based standalone rural Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) power plants with battery storage and local distribution network.

The Scheme is open to all the States and Union Territories, the minister added.

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