Gujarat Energy Development Agency

(A Government Of Gujarat Organization)

150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
Historical perspective

GEDA (Gujarat Energy Development Agency), one of the premier organizations and a forerunner in India has been working in the field of renewable energy development and energy conservation. GEDA is shouldering the responsibility of  a state nodal agency (SNA) for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sources (MoNRE) and the state designated agency (SDA) for Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). 

GEDA has played a pioneering role in the development of a long-term renewable policy and implementing of sustainable energy programmes across the state. GEDA’s challenge has been to make the renewable energy and energy efficient technologies economically and commercially viable. GEDA was catalytic in the formation of the Commission of Additional Sources of Energy (CASE) in 1981, which later became the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES) in 1982 and a full-fledged Ministry- MNES (Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources) in 90s, which is now the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy).   The model was then replicated to establish similar state nodal agencies in other states through out the country.

The renewable energy promotion and popularization programmes in the state have crossed the over 3 decades of untiring efforts and pioneered several sustainable initiatives; many of which are the country’s first. GEDA has virtually been the crucible, the melting pot of ideas to ‘check out’ renewable sources of energy as alternatives to conventional fuels. The convenient green-n-clean actions in these direction and milestones achieved have set the pace for Renewable Energy Development in India.

Gujarat: Pioneering Role

In the minds of the people of Gujarat, GEDA and the Surya Cooker (Solar Cooker) are synonymous.  In fact, GEDA was commonly known as the Surya Cooker Office.  This is because the Surya Cooker was the first renewable energy-based consumer product to be offered to the public in late 1979 to an enthusiastic reception.  The Surya Cooker was a radically novel cooking concept that revolutionized our understanding of energy by introducing a renewable energy alternative - cooking without a fuel. Significantly, Surya Cookers were first developed in the country at Agricultural Tools Research Centre (ATRC), Bardoli in Gujarat synonymously freeing from the slavery of conventional fuels.  The National Solar Cooker Promotion Programme was subsequently launched in 1982-83 by the central government in the rest of the country.

In many ways the Surya Cooker has been a “prototype” programme providing several important designs, development and marketing insights that have been critical for the promotion of later Renewable Energy technologies. The programme stumbled after the initial euphoria and success, as several marketing bottlenecks surfaced. A consistent and rigorous effort to keep in touch with the pulse of the market was made. This included soft studies to gain insight into the potential cooker market with regard to factors affecting the purchase decisions, user feedback fora and product R&D. GEDA consistently endeavoured to tackle marketing and promotion problems in keeping with the changing economic scenario.

GEDA was awarded the prestigious National Award for the Overall Best Performance in Popularizing Solar Cookers under the National Solar Cooker Promotion the Programme for the 10 Five Year Plan Period on November 22, 2007. The Award was conferred by Her Excellency Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil on behalf of  the MNES, Government of India.  The Award is proof that GEDA has continued to maintain its leadership position in Solar Cooker Promotion The award is proof that GEDA has continued to maintain its leadership position in Solar Cooker Promotion since past 5 years. Earlier, GEDA received Best Performance Awards for Solar Cookers for the years 1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01 and 2001-02. GEDA is the only nodal agency that has won three consecutive awards for the overall performance in promoting and popularization solar cookers. Its contribution has been acknowledged nationwide with awards and honours, especially its innovative add-ons such as the publication of the country’s first Solar Cookery Book, the Solar Cooker Patrika for cooker users and demonstration programmes at various event and melas and fairs.

  • Some of the crucial components for the successful promotion of renewable energy technologies are:
  • Assessment of energy needs,
  • Technology assessment and demonstration
  • Assessment of biomass resources
  • Research in technology, product and market development through applied research, field trials and soft studies
  • Localization of programmes and effective grassroots penetration by networking with NGO’s and other local institutions
  • Developing a manufacturing base to aid commercialization of renewable energy technologies
  • Strengthening commercial distribution channels to make NRSE products available to consumers as of- the- counter- devices
  • Developing a network of users to gather vital feedback for effective programme/technology development
  • Building a renewable energy resource centre and maintaining a state-of- the-art knowledge bank
  • Information, promotion, training and education packaged to take energy ideas to the vast and varied base of energy consumers.
  • Reaching out through the school energy education programme

In this scenario, it is certainly in our economic self-interest to employ renewable energy technologies.

Government of Gujarat
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