Odisha: the leader in green energy
Bhubaneswar aims to be the Green City of India. It was the first choice of the Ministry of Urban Development’s (MoUD) flagship Smart City project. A year later, it featured in the top 20 global cities of the world in the Global Smart City Performance Index 2017, according to a survey by UK-based Juniper Research. Whilst Bhubaneswar is performing well across multiple areas there are also inherent weaknesses in the cities infrastructure, culminating in the city failing to perform in follow-up Smart City assessments and it experiencing negative publicity in handling climate effects in 2018.
There is an inherent need to overhaul their existing energy infrastructure. The government is aware of this and has committed funds to allocate towards private sector organisations with innovative means to increase solar energy in the city and the greater state of Odisha.
Consistent, dependable energy is a foundational infrastructure requirement for other functions of an effective, productive city such as the provision of healthcare, transport and communications.
Consistent energy enables better education through light at night for studying and to pursue additional work opportunities. It enables the use of mobile phones which increases access to education, information and other economic opportunities.
Through renewable energies Bhubaneswar seeks to become a green city and improve the quality of life for it’s over 1 million inhabitants. If achieved, it will future proof the cities sustainability from an energy standpoint.
PNV Foundation – PNV Foundation is a non-profit organisation with a number of different CSR initiatives and activities that address an array of sustainable development objectives. They have partnered with PEV as our in-country partner to help connect local university students with our projects on the ground, providing assistance with empathising with locals and breaking down the language barrier, while also giving these students the opportunity to develop in both a personal and professional manner.
Companies developing micro-grid networks that build thriving communities by using advanced technology to help grid operators improve the reliability and affordability of providing energy to consumers. Examples of companies doing this on large scale are Statkraft in Europe, combining sources of wind, solar, geothermal and natural gas energy to national grids. Turning to the developing space, there are companies that focus on the long term role of the electricity grid and target high growth developing markets, where a grid (of some form) already exists, but the quality and reliability of energy is poor and profitability is hard to achieve. It is not a solution for a community that currently has no electricity. Enter, PE Ventures.
HOW IT WORKS
The project aims to increase the environmental sustainability of the state of Odisha through the rollout of renewable energies. The assessment is to ensure this is done in the most cost effective and socially appropriate manner – endorsement from the state government and initial subsidies will assist greatly in the number of positively impacted households. PE Ventures will aim to create smart networks to manage power generation and sell excess from individual’s homes to businesses that need it. Regardless of submitting a proposal to the state government, an in-depth understanding of the state’s energy infrastructure and people energy use requirements is important to determine our core value proposition and the means in which we provide this. An option for people who are currently “unpowered” is our existing work in Malawi with Solar Consulting. This is a small scale solar set up that provides access to light and phone charging with a solar panel and a battery for night-time hours. A more complex opportunity for the state of Odisha is rolling out full solar set ups and partnering with an organisation that uses technology, rather than infrastructure to flip the energy delivery model on its head. Their platform draws from low cost node devices that connect us to each consumer. The platform turns the grid into a collection of microgrids, and allows the use of data to manage the grid in real time. This is not just reporting, we can then automatically keep supply and demand in balance to provide income to solar panel owners with excess energy and consistent power to businesses that need power.
The business model
The opportunity to achieve a sustainable business model to support the social impact is to be determined as part of the assessment.
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