Perhaps the greatest realization is the need to reposition renewable not as alternatives out to oust/replace conventional energy sources, but to stress their potential as sustainable sources of energy, appropriate for specific needs – with some very crucial added advantages fundamental to our survival and healthy development that caters to:
Protecting our natural resources on which the livelihoods of a large number of people depends;
Checking climate change, which is likely to have a serious impact on the region as a whole and on water-related problems in particular; and to
Fostering sustainable development for human welfare.
GEDA (Gujarat Energy Development Agency)’s role to provide “energy alternatives” has been succinctly described here to exemplify the ‘unlimited potential’ of renewable sources of energy. However, it romanticizes the abundance of renewable sources of energy as a ‘free-forever’ source that has been tapped for decentralized energy use and for small, large and mega-scale renewable energy power generation or energy substitute projects. They have contributed to rural development, generated grassroots employment, boosted agricultural productivity, improved the productivity of rural artisans, alleviated the drudgery of women, conserved scarce fossil fuels, promoted energy efficiency in domestic, agricultural, industrial, commercial and transport sectors and played a significant role in protecting the environment and halting the serious consequences of climate change.
The constant challenge has been to find an innovative strategy to move from the theoretical potential of renewable sources of energy to the success its implementation in the field.
GEDA therefore, aims to provide a platform to utilization of sustainable energy (renewable energy and energy efficient) technologies on mass scale to make them techno-economically and socio-culturally viable in the context of Gujarat’s energy scenario.
Our efforts, therefore, concentrate on the initiation of change from energy deprivation and dependence to energy autonomy through the increased use of renewable energy sources through and ensure energy efficiency. Over the years, GEDA has evolved a unique multi-pronged, multi-disciplinary approach to seek solutions for various aspects of programme planning and implementation.
The key areas of intervention are:
Demonstration schemes for new and emerging technologies
Socially oriented schemes for under-privileged communities and underdeveloped/ eco-fragile regions
Commercially oriented schemes for market and business development
GEDA has been instrumental in introducing various new technologies for mass use through design of several innovative programmes, involvement of reputed NGO network, implementation strategies and promotional initiatives. GEDA’s programmes have provided basic energy to the remote tribal and rural areas. They have contributed to rural development, generated grassroots employment, boosted agricultural productivity, improved the productivity of rural artisans, alleviated the drudgery of women, conserved scarce fossil fuels, promoted energy efficiency in domestic, agricultural, industrial, commercial and transport sectors and played a significant role in protecting the environment and reducing carbon emission levels.
Subsidies offered to users in the initial demonstration phase were as high as 100% to gradually reducing the subsidies form 75% - 25 % and today users have been weaned away from subsidies. Currently no subsidy is available for commercially-ready technologies, whereas 75 –50% subsidies are available for institutional applications that need support to make them economically viable in the user context. It is worth noting, here that a similar policy decision has been made by the MNRE to commercialize renewable energy devices. Some schemes such as Improved Chulhas and Solar Lanterns have been withdrawn as centrally supported subsidy programmes.
Today with strength of 60-odd professionals that includes technical and supporting staff, GEDA has over 3-decades of result-oriented experience. Over this period, it has completed several pioneering renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and programmes that have demonstrated the techno-economic viability of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.