An initiative to raise awareness and encourage the adoption of Rooftop Solar in MSMEs for a clean energy transition

Varanasi, 22 September, 2022: Smart Power India (SPI), a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation, launches the ‘Solar Se Samridhi’ campaign in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, in collaboration with Ernst & Young as the knowledge partner. The campaign aims to promote the adoption of Rooftop Solar in micro-enterprises and catalyse the energy transition for millions of micro-enterprises by putting in place structural elements to support the market players.

The event was attended by Shri Bachchu Singh, Additional District Magistrate, Varanasi, Government of Uttar Pradesh; Shri Sanjeev Singh, Manager, UPNEDA, Varanasi; Shri Prem Prakash Singh, Project Officer, UPNEDA, Varanasi; Mr. Samit Mitra, Director, Programme Implementation, Smart Power India and Mr. Mukesh Khandelwal, Head, C&I Programme, Smart Power India.

Encouraging the people of Varanasi to adopt rooftop solar, Shri Bachchu Singh, Additional District Magistrate, Varanasi, State Government of Uttar Pradesh, said “Rooftop solar will not only lead to reduced environmental pollution, but utilising a perennial source of energy such as solar will also lead to reduction in power expenses and improve well-being of the community.”

The campaign will involve on-ground dissemination of IEC (Information, Education & Communication) materials and community activities to increase awareness about the benefits of switching to clean energy. The campaign will be primarily a roadshow, which is spread over two months at various locations across the state to reach relevant audiences.

The initiative includes the “Solar Rath” (Mobile Awareness Van) which will showcase benefits of rooftop solar in more than 70 villages. The van will innovatively share information with the people about solar rooftop adaptation and its merits of long-term savings, environmental benefits, and ease of maintenance.

Announcing the launch of the programme, Samit Mitra, Head Programs Smart Power India, said “We are excited to launch the Solar se Samridhi campaign in Varanasi. With this campaign, our aim is to educate micro-enterprises across the state of Uttar Pradesh about the benefits of RTS. RTS presents a scalable Distributed Renewable Energy alternative for productive use, especially for diesel-dependent, high-load customers. Solar, as we know, is a cost-effective and reliable means of power generation, providing the rural population with a reliable option complementing grid-based electricity.”

Explaining programme’s vision, Mukesh Khandelwal, Director- C&I, Smart Power India, said, “Our vision with this awareness campaign is to support Central and State government in their ambitious target of producing 16,000MW renewable power by 2026-27. Our Solar Rath will extensively tour 77 villages in Varanasi and accelerate the adoption of Rooftop solar in within local MSMEs.”

SPI works towards unlocking market potential and crowding in large developers and financiers for scale-up. Earlier this year, Smart Power India launched the RTS pilot programme for MSMEs in UP and now wants to showcase its merits to the community and other stakeholders.

Smart Power India has been constantly working towards building and nurturing ecosystems that promote sustainable and scalable models for delivering electricity access and is running multiple initiatives to transform the livelihoods of underserved communities via DRE.

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