The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a part of the world bank group, is taking steps to boost solar power in Assam, and in this connection the IFC is planning to organise a multi stakeholder event at Guwahati towards the end of February to bring together civil society organizations, distribution companies, government agencies etc.
The International Finance Corporation, through its Lighting Asia/ India programme aims to accelerate development of markets for quality off-grid solar solutions –solar lanterns, solar based home systems and DC solar appliances.
The initiative has already been running in the states of Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for over the last 4 years, and now IFC is also planning to explore Assam.
The programme works on removing market barriers to enhance access to quality off-gird solar lighting solutions by end consumers in largely rural areas, and areas which are difficult to reach.
“IFC works directly with private sector companies engaged either in the manufacture, or distribution of quality assured solar lights. An important aspect of the programme is the facilitating role that it plays, connecting program clients (manufacturers/distributors of quality assured solar lights) with other stakeholders working in the off-grid solar energy space,” an IFC statement said.
Civil society organizations working on solar power related issues have said that such multi stakeholder events are very important as it provides the required linkages to people to set up solar projects, and get power from solar panels.
“Decentralized solar power projects in areas which are not yet grid connected, is the solution to ensure people gets electricity. This programme has been running effectively in many states and thousands of people have benefitted immensely,” said Sabita Devi, a researcher associated with the Centre for Environment, Social and Policy Research, a Guwahati based organization.
“The Assam government is trying to push roof top solar projects in the towns in the state, and solar projects and panels in the villages which are still away from grid connection. So, the state government’s vision fits in the objective of the Lighting Asia programme,” added Devi.