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Power Minister R K Singh launches GRAM UJALA in Bihar; 1st Carbon Credits Programme in India

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Power Minister Shri R K Singh launches GRAM UJALA in BiharOn March 19, 2021, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, R K Singh virtually launched the ‘GRAM UJALA’ programme in Arrah, Bihar.  Under the programme, 15 Million (1.5 Crore) LEDs with 3 years of warranty will be given to rural customers on submission of working incandescent bulbs.

  • The scheme was unveiled by  Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL).
  • GRAM UJALA Scheme was launched since the rural population of India was still unable to afford discounted LEDs.
  • Under this scheme Government will offer the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas at an INR 10.
  • The LEDs distributed have the capacities of 7-watt & 12-watt.Each household can get up to 5 LEDs.

Note – According to EESL, India is currently the second-largest LED market in the world by value.

Financial Support:-

  • This scheme will be financed entirely through Carbon Credits making it the first such program in India. The scheme will claim carbon credits under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
  • Under the scheme, the Revenue earned from carbon credits will contribute ₹60 per LED bulb piece, with the balance of ₹10 to be paid by the rural consumer.

Impacts of Implementation

  • It will have a significant impact on India’s climate change action energy savings of 2025 million kWh/year and CO2 reductions of 1.65 million tonnes CO2/year.
  • It also aims to bring in better illumination at affordable prices, a better standard of life, financial savings, more economic activity & better safety for rural citizens.
  • If all 300 Million lights in India were placed, the total energy savings will be 40, 743 million kWh/year.
  • It will result in avoiding peak demand of 22, 743 MW/year & CO2 reductions of 37 million tons per year.

1st Phase of Implementation

  • Under the 1st phase of the program, it will be implemented across villages of 5 states – Aarah (Bihar), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra) & in villages of Western Gujarat.

Carbon Credit 

  • It refers to Carbon offset as a financial tool to reduce carbon emissions by storing carbons for future or later use.
  • It will help the individual to adopt a more concerted and disciplined approach to reduce their carbon footprints.

Background– The government’s previous Ujala (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Lighting for All) scheme had cut LED bulb prices to ₹70 apiece from around ₹310 in 2014.

Recent Related News:

i.On November 17, 2020 EESL signed an MoU with the Department of New & Renewable Energy (DNRE), Government of Goa to discuss the implementation of India’s First 100 MW(MegaWatt) decentralized solar convergence project under the newly formed Convergence Energy Services Limited (Convergence) in Goa.

About Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL):

It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL)
CEO – Mahua Acharya.