This partnership aims to improve access to reliable electricity for communities in Andhra Pradesh, and to create an economic and social model that delivers significant community development benefits that can be replicated elsewhere.
Access to reliable electricity is essential to help alleviate poverty and to enable communities to grow. There are more than 800 million people in rural India, many of whom lack access to regular electricity. Bringing dependable and more affordable energy to communities will help improve the local economy, enable businesses to thrive, and improve living conditions for villagers, particularly women who are often negatively impacted by unreliable sources of power.
Under this partnership, 600 households in up to three villages will be fitted with a smart device, connecting each household to a software platform that will manage a microgrid, improving the reliability of the electricity supply, and reducing the cost of electricity production and distribution through a mix of renewable energy, artificial intelligence, software and blockchain technologies.
Village Energy will lead the initiative. The Rural Development Trust, with its strong presence in Andhra Pradesh, will support with community engagement. This partnership deepens cooperation on solar research and reduces technology costs, while strengthening relationships with key business and private sector actors in Andhra Pradesh, a priority state under Australia’s India Economic Strategy (IES).
This partnership creates shared value by improving the living conditions of households connected to the microgrid. By ensuring 600 households in Andhra Pradesh have access to more reliable electricity, these households will have greater control over their power supply and its cost by enabling them to choose when and how much electricity they need. Community entrepreneurs will be able to provide wider services and local jobs will be created for those installing and maintaining equipment.
The partnership also brings economic benefits to its partners, including improved supply for utility companies. Running the pilot program across three villages will enable Village Energy to test the viability of the microgrid and create an economic and social model that delivers significant community development benefits. If successful, this model can be replicated elsewhere.