OPEC Fund's scalable, replicable, clean rural electrification project in Jharkhand, India
The private sector has an important role to play in helping to scale-up minigrid projects. However, the initial installations of such projects - often in remote villages with low per-capita income - carry risks that the private sector may not be willing to accept. OPEC Fund co-operated with the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) - an international not-for-profit association representing the decentralized energy sector - to support the deployment of private sector-financed minigrids to increase access to modern and affordable energy in developing countries. Four ARE members received grants from OPEC Fund providing a de-risking mechanism for business ventures through cost-sharing.
One project in this program involves the installation of solar PV / diesel hybrid minigrids in rural villages in the Jharkhand region of India. By December 2016, the project implementer, MLINDA Association, had commissioned minigrids in the villages of Narotoli, Pasanga and Shahitoli. The table above shows the installed capacity and the number of beneficiaries per village.
Nearly 50 jobs or micro businesses, including plant operators and plant technicians who were trained by MLINDA have already been created in the three villages as a direct result of the project. Currently, several performance indicators are being monitored, including the amount of energy produced per year, tariff collection, the average increase of income as a result of electricity connection and the decrease in the amount of health spending.
Solar Powered Smart Gruids in Haiti: Brownfield Launch and Model Development
75% of the people in Haiti lack access to electricity with only about 30 municipal-level micro-grids that supply power at best intermittently. Most of the electricity infrastructure is old and dilapidated.
OPEC Fund teamed up with EarthSpark International in a project aiming to enhance access to affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity services across Haiti. The project's specific objective is to develop and launch a town-sized, solar-powered smart grid in Tiburon, Haiti, with a view to validate a business model and investment plan for the construction of another 80 town-sized solar powered smart micro-grids across the country.
The solar powered smart grids are expected to benefit at least 200 households and directly impacting 1,000 individuals. Existing businesses and schools will also benefit from the availability of reliable electricity and may encourage further such activity as a result. Future expansion of the grid to proximate structures could indirectly benefit another 1,500 people.