Solar Microgrids in Rural India

A Case Study of Household Benefits

Authors

  • Debalina Chakravarty St. Xavier’s University
  • Joyashree Roy Asian Institute of Technology

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37773/ees.v4i2.140

Keywords:

Modern Energy Services; Energy-efficient Appliances; Frontier Rebound Effect; Rural Household; Solar Microgrid.

Abstract

This study evaluates the benefits that rural households in India derive from dedicated solar microgrid service systems. A case study was conducted in Lakshmipura-Jharla, Rajasthan, a village in western India with significant potential for producing solar energy. In 2013, a private investor set up a solar microgrid in the village and distributed energy-efficient appliances. Its goal was to give poor households access to modern energy services. The study data were collected through a survey conducted among randomly selected households in the village. The survey found that such an electricity provision service had multidimensional benefits: flexible use of the energy service, more effective time allocation among women, more study time for students, improved indoor air quality, and safer public places. Given the initial unmet demand for modern energy in the village, technological interventions supported by policy has helped to expand consumption possibilities and new demand for services has emerged. The household-level frontier rebound effect is estimated to be more than 100%, reflecting a one-and-a-half times increase in the demand for illumination services among rural households. Frontier rebound effect estimates help quantify the benefits of solar microgrids and energy-efficient appliances for households in rural areas...

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Debalina Chakravarty, St. Xavier’s University

Assistant Professor in Economics, Faculty of Arts and Social Studies, St. Xavier’s University, Action Area III, Newtown, Kolkata, West Bengal – 700160

Joyashree Roy, Asian Institute of Technology

Bangabandhu Chair Professor, Asian Institute of Technology, 58M009 Paholyothin Highway Rd, Khlong Nueng, Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani-12120, Thailand; and Professor of Economics (on lien) and Founder Advisor - Global Change Programme, Jadavpur University,  118 Raja S.C. Mallik Road, Jadavpur, Kolkata, West Bengal- 700032

References

Allan, Grant, Ian Bryden, Peter G McGregor, Tim Stallard, J Kim Swales, Karen Turner, and Robin Wallace. 2008. “Concurrent and Legacy Economic and Environmental Impacts from Establishing a Marine Energy Sector in Scotland.” Energy Policy 36(7): 2734–2753. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2008.02.020

Allan, Grant, Nick Hanley, Peter G McGregor, J Kim Swales, and Karen Turner. 2006. “The Macroeconomic Rebound Effect and the UK Economy.” London: The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

Alliance for Rural Electrification. 2011. Rural Electrification with Renewable Energy: Technologies, Quality Standards and Business Models. Brussels, Belgium: The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE).

Berkhout, Peter HG, Jos C Muskens, and Jan W Velthuijsen. 2000. “Defining the Rebound Effect.” Energy Policy 28(6–7): 425-432. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0301-4215(00)00022-7

Binswanger, Mathias. 2001. “Technological Progress and Sustainable Development: What About the Rebound Effect?” Ecological Economics 36(1): 119–132. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0921-8009(00)00214-7

Bruckner, T, IA Bashmakov, Y Mulugetta, H Chum, A de la Vega Navarro, J Edmonds, A Faaij, et al. 2014. “Energy Systems.” In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by O Edenhofer, R Pichs-Madruga, Y Sokona, E Farahani, S Kadner, K Seyboth, A Adler, et al. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.

Burgess, Robin, Michael Greenstone, Nicholas Ryan, and Anant Sudarshan. 2019. “Demand for Electricity in a Poor Economy.” Unpublished manuscript, University of Chicago.

CEA (Central Electricity Authority). 2012. “Review of Power Sector Report.” Ministry of Power, Government of India. Accessed on 24 May 2015. https://cea.nic.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/generation_review-2012.pdf

Chakravarty, Debalina. 2016. “Rebound Effect: Empirical Evidence from the Indian Economy.” PhD diss., Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Chakravarty, Debalina, and Joyashree Roy. 2017. “The Global South: New Estimates and Insights from Urban India.” In Rethinking Climate and Energy Policies, edited by Tilman Santarius, Hans Jakob Walnum, and Carlo Aall, 55–72. Cham: Springer.

Chakravarty, Debalina, Shyamasree Dasgupta, and Joyashree Roy. 2013. “Rebound Effect: How Much to Worry?” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 5(2): 216–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.03.001

Chaurey, Akanksha, and Tara Chandra Kandpal. 2010. “Assessment and Evaluation of PV-based Decentralized Rural Electrification: An Overview.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14(8): 2266–2278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2010.04.005

Chen, Changsong, Shanxu Duan, Tong Cai, Bangyin Liu, and Gangwei Hu. 2011. “Smart Energy Management System for Optimal Microgrid Economic Operation.” IET Renewable Power Generation 5(3): 258–267. https://doi.org/10.1109/ipemc.2009.5157753

Culp, Archie W. 1979. Principles of Energy Conversion. Tokyo: McGraw-Hill Kogakusha.

Dieckmann, Ulf. 2013. “Techno-economic Analysis of Microgrid for Universal Electricity Access in Eastern Cape, South Africa.” International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Accessed on 24 May 2015. http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/scientificUpdate/2013/Longe.html

Druckman, Angela, Mona Chitnis, Steve Sorrell, and Tim Jackson. 2011. “Missing Carbon Reductions? Exploring Rebound and Backfire Effects in UK Households.” Energy Policy 39(6): 3572–3581. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2012.06.045

Filippini, Massimo, and Shonali Pachauri. 2004. “Elasticities of Electricity Demand in Urban Indian Households.” Energy Policy 32(3): 429–436. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0301-4215(02)00314-2

Fowlie Meredith, Yashraj Khaitan, and Catherine Wolfram. 2018. “Solar Microgrids and Remote Energy Access: How Weak Incentives Can Undermine Smart Technology.” Berkely, CA: Energy Institute at Haas.

Freeman, Rachel. 2018. “A Theory on the Future of the Rebound Effect in a Resource-constrained World.” Frontiers in Energy Research 6: 81. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenrg.2018.00081

Frondel, Manuel, Jörg Peters, and Colin Vance. 2008. “Identifying the Rebound: Evidence from a German Household Panel.” The Energy Journal 29(4): 145–163. https://doi.org/10.5547/issn0195-6574-ej-vol29-no4-7

Global Energy Assessment (GEA). 2012. Toward a Sustainable Future. Cambridge, UK, New York, NY, USA, Laxenburg, Austria: Cambridge University Press and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Government of India. 2011. “Census of India 2011.” New Delhi: Office of the Registrar General. Accessed on 24 April 2018. http://censusindia.gov.in/

Greening, Lorna A, David L Greene, and Carmen Difiglio. 2000. “Energy Efficiency and Consumption—The Rebound Effect—A Survey.” Energy Policy 28(6–7): 389–401. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0301-4215(00)00021-5

Hayward, Bronwyn, and Joyashree Roy. 2019. “Sustainable Living: Bridging the North-South Divide in Lifestyles and Consumption Debates.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 44(1): 157–175. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-101718-033119

Herring, Horace. 1998. “Does Energy Efficiency Save Energy: The Implications of Accepting the Khazzoom-Brookes Postulate.” Energy and Environment Research Unit, The Open University. Accessed on 24 May 2015. http://web.mit.edu/2.813/www/readings/HorraceHerring.pdf

Herring, Horace. 2006. “Energy Efficiency—A Critical View.” Energy 31(1): 10–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2004.04.055

Hirsch, Adam, Yael Parag, and Josep Guerrero. 2018. “Microgrids: A Review of Technologies, Key Drivers, and Outstanding Issues.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 90: 402–411. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2018.03.040

Jenkins, J, T Nordhaus, and M Shellenberger. 2011. “Energy Emergence: Rebound and Backfire as Emergent Phenomena.” Breakthrough Institute, February 17. https://thebreakthrough.org/articles/new-report-how-efficiency-can

Johnson, Michael A, and Ranyee A Chiang. 2015. “Quantitative Guidance for Stove Usage and Performance to Achieve Health and Environmental Targets.” Environmental Health Perspectives 123(8): 820–826. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408681

Kamel, Rashad M, Aymen Chaouachi, and Ken Nagasaka. 2015. “Wind Power Smoothing Using Fuzzy Logic Pitch Controller and Energy Capacitor System for Improvement Micro-Grid Performance in Islanding Mode.” (Retraction of vol 35: 2119, from 2010). Energy 85: 688–688. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2015.05.001

Kaundinya, Deepak Paramashivan, P Balachandra, and NH Ravindranath. 2009. “Grid-connected Versus Stand-alone Energy Systems for Decentralized Power—A Review of Literature.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 13(8): 2041–2050. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2009.02.002

Khazzoom, J Daniel. 1980. “Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances.” The Energy Journal 1(4): 21–40. https://doi.org/10.5547/issn0195-6574-ej-vol1-no4-2

Lam, Nicholas L, Kirk R Smith, Alison Gauthier, and Michael N Bates. 2012. “Kerosene: A Review of Household Uses and Their Hazards in Low and Middle-Income Countries.” Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B 15(6): 396–432. https://doi.org/10.1080/10937404.2012.710134

Lee, Kenneth, Edward Miguel, and Catherine Wolfram. 2020. “Does Household Electrification Supercharge Economic Development?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 34(1): 122–44. https://doi.org/10.3386/w26528

Lin, Boqiang, and Hongxun Liu. 2015. “A Study on the Energy Rebound Effect of China’s Residential Building Energy Efficiency.” Energy and Buildings 86: 608–618. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2014.10.049

Lin, Boqiang, and Xia Liu. 2013a. “Electricity Tariff Reform and Rebound Effect of Residential Electricity Consumption in China.” Energy 59: 240–247. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2013.07.021

Lin, Boqiang, and Xia Liu. 2013b. “Reform of Refined Oil Product Pricing Mechanism and Energy Rebound Effect for Passenger Transportation in China.” Energy Policy 57: 329–337. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2013.02.002

Millward-Hopkins, Joel, Julia K Steinberger, Narasimha D Rao, and Yannick Oswald. 2020. “Providing Decent Living with Minimum Energy: A Global Scenario.” Global Environmental Change 65: 102168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102168.

Molina, M. G., and P. E. Mercado. 2010. “Stabilization and Control of Tie-Line Power Flow of Microgrid including Wind Generation by Distributed Energy Storage.” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 35(11): 5827–5833. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.02.090

MoSPI (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation). 2012. “Household Consumption of Various Goods and Services in India: NSS 66 Round.” Government of India. Accessed on 24 April 2018. http://mospi.nic.in/sites/default/files/publication_reports/nss_report_541.pdf

Parikh, Jyoti. 2011. “Hardships and Health Impacts on Women due to Traditional Cooking Fuels: A Case Study of Himachal Pradesh, India.” Energy Policy 39(12): 7587–7594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2011.05.055

Rao, Narasimha D, and Jihoon Min. 2018. “Decent Living Standards: Material Prerequisites for Human Wellbeing.” Social Indicators Research 138(1): 225–244. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-017-1650-0

Roy, Joyashree, Shyamasree Dasgupta, and Debalina Chakravarty. 2013. “Energy Efficiency: Technology, Behavior, and Development.” In The Handbook of Global Energy Policy, edited by Andreas Golthau, 282–302. Boston, MA: Wiley Blackwell.

Roy, Joyashree. “The Rebound Effect: Some Empirical Evidence from India.” 2000. Energy Policy 28(6–7): 433–438. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0301-4215(00)00027-6

Saunders, Harry D. 2005. “A Calculator for Energy Consumption Changes Arising from New Technologies.” The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy 5(1). http://www.bepress.com/bejap/topics/vol5/iss1/art15

Saunders, Harry D. 2000. “A View from the Macro Side: Rebound, Backfire, and Khazzoom–Brookes.” Energy Policy 28(6–7): 439–449. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0301-4215(00)00024-0

Saunders, Harry D, and Jeffrey Y Tsao. 2012. “Rebound Effects for Lighting.” Energy Policy 49: 477–478. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2012.06.050

Saunders, Harry. 2013. “Is What We Think of as “Rebound” Really Just Income Effects in Disguise?” Energy Policy 57: 308–317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2013.01.056

Sorrell, Steve, and John Dimitropoulos. 2008. “The Rebound Effect: Microeconomic Definitions, Limitations and Extensions.” Ecological Economics 65(3): 636–649. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.08.013

Sorrell, Steve. 2009. “Jevons’ Paradox Revisited: The Evidence for Backfire from Improved Energy Efficiency.” Energy Policy 37(4): 1456–1469. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2008.12.003

Sorrell, Steve. 2007. “The Rebound Effect: An Assessment of the Evidence for Economy-Wide Energy Savings from Improved Energy Efficiency.” UK Energy Research Centre. Accessed on 24 May 2020. https://ukerc.ac.uk/publications/the-rebound-effect-an-assessment-of-the-evidence-for-economy-wide-energy-savings-from-improved-energy-efficiency/

Thirumurthy, N, L Harrington, D Martin, Leena Thomas, Jigmet Takpa, and Reuben Gergan. 2012. “Opportunities and Challenges for Solar Minigrid Development in Rural India.” No. NREL/TP-7A20-55562. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Toman, M. 2003. ‘“Greening’ Economic Development Activities for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation.”, Issue Brief, RFF IB 03-02. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.

Tsao, Jeffrey Y, Harry D Saunders, J Randall Creighton, Michael E Coltrin, and Jerry A Simmons. 2012. “Solid-state Lighting: An Energy–Economics Perspective.” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 43(35): 354001. https://doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/43/35/354001

United Nations Environment Programme. 2017. “The Emissions Gap Report 2017.” Nairobi: UNEP.

Vachirasricirikul, Sitthidet, and Issarachai Ngamroo. 2011. “Robust Controller Design of Heat Pump and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle for Frequency Control in a Smart Microgrid Based on Specified-Structure Mixed H2/H∞ Control Technique.” Applied Energy 88(11): 3860–3868. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.04.055

Venkataramanan, Giri, and Chris Marnay. 2008. “A Larger Role for Microgrids.” IEEE Power and Energy Magazine 6(3): 78–82.

Vikström, Peter. 2008. “Energy Efficiency and Energy Demand: A Historical CGE Investigation on the Rebound Effect in the Swedish Economy 1957.” Semantic Scholar. Accessed 16 July 2021. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Energy-efficiency-and-Energy-Demand%3A-A-Historical Vikstr%C3%B6m/bc1f02c02f799a884a2456bb111142b3faf41363

Wang, Hao, and Jianwei Huang. 2014. “Hybrid Renewable Energy Investment in Microgrid.” In 2014 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (Smart Grid Comm), 602–607. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7007713

Wei, Taoyuan. 2010. “A General Equilibrium View of Global Rebound Effects.” Energy Economics 32(3): 661672. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2009.09.002

Williams, Nathaniel J, Paulina Jaramillo, Jay Taneja, and Taha Selim Ustun. 2015. “Enabling Private Sector Investment in Microgrid-based Rural Electrification in Developing Countries: A Review.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 52: 1268–1281. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.07.153

World Bank. 2010. “Addressing the Electricity Access Gap.” Background Paper for the World Bank Group Energy Sector Strategy. Accessed on 24 May 2015. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTESC/Resources/Addressing_the_Electricity_Access_Gap.pdf

World Bank. 2008. “Designing Sustainable Off-Grid Rural Electrification Projects: Principles and Practices.” Operational Guidance for World Bank Group Staff. Accessed on 24 May 2015. https://www.reseau-cicle.org/wp-content/uploads/riaed/pdf/OffgridGuidelines.pdf

World Bank. 2008. “Grid-connect Electricity Supply in India.” Accessed on 24 May 2015. http://envfor.nic.in/downloads/public-in formation/GridconnectElectricittSupplyIndia.pdf

Additional Files

Published

2021-07-31