DESI Power was set up as a “no-profit-to shareholders” company to demonstrate a model of renewable energy-driven sustainable rural development for removing poverty and reducing CO2 emissions and the risk of climate change. 15 years were spent in adapting and modifying renewable energy technologies (e.g., biomass gasification) for reliable and economic operation under village conditions with O&M and management by local people. The first DESI Power Plant (1996) supplied power to a handmade paper factory run mostly by women for over 75’000 h. Perhaps the first Micro Grid in a village in India was set up by DESI Power in 2006 and the first biomass-PV hybrid power station in 2016. We have built over 65 technical and commercial pilot plants, 45 of which are now running in 20 villages.
As is well known, even after 70 years the conventional policy of “Rural Electrification” set-up as a part of “Centralised Power System” based mostly on coal has not brought the desired results for villagers. The urgency of reducing CO2 emissions combined with the long-overdue reduction of rural poverty demands a re-think of policies and the introduction of a “Decentralised Electricity and Energy Services” Sector.