Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

Developing an Ecosystem to Phase Out HFCs in IndiaEstablishing a Research and Development Platform

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September 2017 | ,

Citation: Shikha Bhasin, Lekha Sridhar, and Vaibhav Chaturvedi (2017) 'Developing an Ecosystem to Phase Out HFCs in India: Establishing a Research and Development Platform', October



Within the ambit of the Montreal Protocol, India drew immense attention to address technological and systemic gaps to build the required ecosystem for phasing out HFCs in India. The Government of India’s national initiative of a collaborative research and development programme aims to create an ecosystem that allows industries, and the country, to move along a pathway that is climate friendly and resource efficient, without impeding economic growth or constraining economic interests.

Building on our previous research on HFCs that identified the need for R&D as well as the Government of India’s ambitious targets for a transition to low-GWP refrigerants, this report highlights the relevance of, and presents an institutional design for a dedicated multi-stakeholder R&D platform to address India’s domestic concerns and to meet its international commitments for the phasing out of HFCs. The report was released by Mr Gyanesh Bharti, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Mr Amit Love, Joint Director, Ozone Cell during the ‘Roundtable on Phasing Down HFCs in India: Building an R&D Ecosystem and Addressing Servicing Sector Challenges’, organised by The Council and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation on 3 October 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Source: Pixabay

The primary objective of the Platform would be to facilitate the phase-out of HFCs in India by supporting R&D and the adoption of alternatives. Its mission would be to facilitate technical R&D for India and build the larger “innovation ecosystem” that is required by recommending standards, application testing, consumer-incentive programmes, and similar supporting aspects for low-GWP HFC alternatives. This would be achieved through active engagement with all relevant stakeholders as members of the RDP. The Platform would be a one-stop authority for all matters related to HFC alternatives and the requirements for replacing HFCs in India, with the following activities being undertaken collaboratively:

  • Facilitating basic research.
  • Facilitating and encouraging applied research.
  • Facilitating technology testing facilities.
  • Recommending standards for usage, performance, and safety.
  • Recommending policies for market integration and low-GWP refrigerant usage.
  • Suggesting consumer-based programmes.
  • Functioning as a knowledge and information clearing house.
  • Encouraging stakeholder interactions.
  • Supporting linkages between industry, R&D institutions, and policy makers.
  • Recommending skill development and training programmes, and.
  • Any other related programme or aspect deemed necessary for the adoption of low-GWP refrigerants in place of HFCs.
This report highlights the relevance of, and presents an institutional design for a dedicated multi-stakeholder R&D platform to address India’s commitment for phasing out of HFCs.

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Powering Rural Healthcare

Powering Primary Healthcare through Solar in IndiaLessons from Chhattisgarh

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August 2017 | ,

Citation: Aditya Ramji, Sasmita Patnaik, Sunil Mani, and Hem H. Dholakia (2017) ‘Powering Primary Healthcare through Solar in India: Lessons from Chhattisgarh’, August



This first-of-its-kind independent study, funded by Oxfam India, evaluates the role of electricity access on health outcomes in rural Chhattisgarh. The study establishes a strong correlation between sustainable development goals, focusing on good health and well-being (Goal 3), and focusing on affordable and clean energy (Goal 7). The study is based on an evaluation of 147 primary healthcare centres (PHCs), including 83 having solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, across 15 districts in Chhattisgarh.

District-wise snapshot of power-deficit PHCs

District-wise snapshot of power-deficit PHCs (CEEW Analysis)

Key Findings

  • Of the functional PHCs in India, 4.6 per cent are unelectrified, affecting over 38 million rural households.
  • One out of every two PHCs in the country suffers from unreliable power supply or has no electricity access at all.
  • Despite being a power surplus state, one-third of the PHCs in Chhattisgarh are either un-electrified or without regular power supply.
  • About 90 per cent of PHCs reported power cuts during peak operating hours. One-third of the PHCs experienced power cuts in the evening. More than 21 per cent of the PHCs reported damage of medical equipment due to voltage fluctuations.
  • Solar provided a reliable power backup to PHCs, especially during peak load hours and after sundown. It could potentially be a primary mode of power supply.
  • Ninety per cent of the solar-powered PHCs reported cost savings from using solar PV systems over diesel generators. Diesel power costs INR 24-26 per kWh while solar plus battery costs around INR 12-14 per kWh.
  • The ability of solar-powered PHCs to operate cold chain equipment for storing vaccines and drugs, and newborn care equipment improved significantly.
  • Higher comfort due to better lighting and running fans increased patients’ willingness to get admitted.
  • Solar-powered PHCs admitted over 50 per cent more patients and conducted twice the number of child deliveries in a month compared to power-deficit PHCs without a solar system.
  • One-fourth of power-deficit PHCs rely exclusively on solar as a backup to run cold chain equipment.
  • Providing solar (5 kW systems) to all PHCs, Sub-Centres and Community Health Centres across India could contribute to about 415 MW of the rooftop target.
Solar for healthcare is an opportunity to simultaneously address the (often competing) goals of energy access, energy security, resource management, and health outcomes.

A Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Mandir Hasaud, Chhattisgarh (CEEW)

Key Recommendations

  • Include electricity access as a critical component in health infrastructure while drafting policies.
  • Augment electricity supply with solar systems. Give priority to power-deficit health facilities, especially those providing 24x7 services.
  • Tailor solar system designs based on local needs and considerations, and equip PHCs with off-grid solar systems.
  • Conduct regular monitoring and repair of all systems
  • Scale solar across health centres in India to meet the targets of both the National Solar Mission (NSM) and the National Health Mission (NHM).

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Gauging Our Big Bets In 2018

Business World, January 2018

Greening India's WorkforceGearing up for Expansion of Solar and Wind Power in India

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June 2017 | ,

Citation: Neeraj Kuldeep, Kanika Chawla, Arunabha Ghosh, Anjali Jaiswal, Nehmat Kaur, Sameer Kwatra, Karan Chouksey (2017) 'Greening India's Workforce: Gearing Up for Expansion of Solar and Wind Power in India', CEEW-NRDC Report, June



The Council, along with the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) India, conducts annual surveys of India’s solar and wind markets in order to analyse both short and long-term renewable energy job creation.

Job creation and skill development are key priorities for the Indian government. Jobs created from renewable energy offer a significant opportunity to meet the government’s objectives on employment generation. However, credible information on the number of jobs that have been created so far, and those that can be created in future to achieve India’s renewable energy goal of 175 GW by 2022, has been lacking.

Results from the latest study find that India's ambitious renewable energy goals could generate thousands of new jobs while meeting India's climate and economic goals.

CEEW - NRDC analysis

Key Findings

  • Solar and wind energy employed over 21,000 people in 2016-17 and will employ 25,000 or more in the following year.
  • The labour-intensive rooftop solar segment will employ 70 per cent of the new workforce, creating seven times more jobs than large-scale projects such as solar farms.
In the next five years, 30,000 people will be employed in the solar and wind energy sectors.
  • Domestic solar manufacturing industry could provide full-time employment for an additional 45,000 people in India.
  • Solar jobs will be well distributed across India with Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh leading in job creation. Wind jobs are likely to be concentrated in a few states that have high wind potential, as has been the case with wind capacity.
  • Eighty per cent of the new clean energy workforce will be employed during the construction phase. However, despite these being contractual jobs, the large pipeline of renewable energy projects creates enough opportunities for workers to stay employed.

Source: CEEW Analysis

Key Recommendations

  • Promote reporting of employment generation from renewable energy companies.
  • Provide a greater impetus and policy priority to rooftop solar to create renewable energy jobs and meet the government’s employment objectives.
  • Support development of training centres led by the private sector to source construction jobs locally since solar jobs are well distributed among states.
  • Develop wind power training centres based on state specific wind targets in 8 states.
  • Promote a strong domestic solar manufacturing industry to provide employment to an additional 45,000 people in India.

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Financing Solar for Irrigation in IndiaRisks, Challenges, and Solutions

January 2018 |

Citation: Shalu Agrawal and Abhishek Jain (2018) 'Financing Solar for Irrigation in India: Risks, Challenges, and Solutions', January



Access to reliable and affordable irrigation is one of the critical enablers to increase agricultural productivity and farmers’ incomes. Over the past five years, over 100,000 solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) have been installed in India. This brief examines the risks and challenges constraining the financing of solar pumps in India, ease of financing for different delivery models for solar pumps, factors constraining the flow of finance, and potential measures to mitigate the risks and challenges affecting the financing of solar pumps.

The report was released by Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog during the National Dialogue ‘Solar for Irrigation in India,’ organised by The Council, the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation at India Habitat Centre on 18 January 2018.

At the launch during the National Dialogue ‘Solar for Irrigation in India’ at India Habitat Centre

At the launch during the National Dialogue ‘Solar for Irrigation in India’ at India Habitat Centre (Source: CEEW)

Key Recommendations

  • Focus on awareness generation about the solar pump technology and its benefits amongst staff of financial institutions, particularly through physical demonstrations.
  • Facilitate a supportive ecosystem for SPIS financing through a gradual phase-out of subsidy support, introducing measures to bring down the cost of SPIS, and encouraging financing support through interest subsidies while avoiding competition between different policies.
  • Develop innovative means to assist lenders in conducting investment appraisals for solar pump investment under individually-owned as well as water-as-a-service models. These could entail development of databases to provide information on water availability, crop price, and likely future trends in easily accessible formats.
  • Upgrade the staff capacity of financial institutions at the branch level, through new recruitments and training exercises, in order to enable sound appraisal of solar pump applications in an accelerated manner.
  • Undertake measures such as periodic monitoring, sharing information about successful installations, setting up robust credit-rating systems for solar pump companies, etc to strengthen financiers’ confidence in the quality and performance of solar pumps.
Focus on awareness generation about solar pump technology and its benefits.

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Improving efficiency in the power surplus era

Mint, August 2017

Clean Cooking Energy

The Council’s research on clean cooking energy focuses on evaluating the state of the clean cooking energy sector, examining and comparing clean cooking technologies, and designing a roadmap for the sector. Our team aims to support clean cooking energy access for every Indian household in an inclusive, resource-efficient, affordable, and sustainable manner.

In 2015, The Council’s ACCESS study found that only a fifth of rural households in India have access to an LPG connection and 95 per cent of rural households use some form of traditional fuel for cooking. Excessive dependence on traditional fuels is a major health hazard. It also hampers India’s economic productivity, while reinforcing gender disparities in human development. The Council is currently supporting NITI Aayog to meet the Sustainable Development Goal on enabling affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.


Access Survey

The Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity – Survey of States (ACCESS) is India's largest energy access survey, covering more than 8500 households, 714 villages and 51 districts, across Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

First conducted in 2015 by CEEW, in collaboration with Columbia University, the survey collected over 2.5 million data points via an expansive data collection process, lasting more than a year. Results from phase two of the ACCESS survey will be published in 2018. Households surveyed in 2015 will be revisited to record changes in their state of energy access, if any, and analyse trends to inform the government’s ongoing rural electrification efforts.

ACCESS provides a first-of-its-kind multi-dimensional evaluation of the state of energy access in India and highlights multiple nuances associated with electricity access and cooking energy access such as the duration of supply, quality, reliability, affordability, availability, health and safety, and even legal status of the connection.


Energy Access

Energy Access

Lack of access to energy is a barrier for households, communities, and enterprises in reaching their desired potential. The Energy Access team envisions removing this barrier by using evidence-based research of on-ground realities to inform policies and businesses. The team does this through the collection and analysis of primary data, evaluation of policies and programmes, design of interventions, and the development of collaborative platforms that enable equitable access to modern energy for human development.

  • 26 million

    tonnes of CO2 emissions can be reduced annually by replacing 5 million diesel pumps with solar-powered irrigation systems in India
  • 78%

    households still rely entirely on biomass for cooking
  • 38 million

    people depend on unelectrified PHCs for healthcare in India
  • I congratulate CEEW and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation on the release of their studies on solar for irrigation. These are policy pertinent research studies and present actionable recommendations.

    Amitabh Kant

    CEO, NITI Aayog

  • My Ministry had requested CEEW to independently and objectively analyse our energy subsidy reform measures and I am thankful to them for their analysis. CEEW’s research would help us improve our government’s schemes.

    Dharmendra Pradhan

    Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas

  • ICMR's collaboration with CEEW will bring together synergies between the objective of ‘time to care’ as mandated in the National Health Mission (NHM) and clean energy as outlined under the National Solar Mission (NSM).

    Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

    Director General, ICMR, and Deputy Director General for Programmes – WHO

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Our Energy Access Team