The WEFT team under the WEFT umbrella as well as independently has a repertoire of projects that provide important inputs for a range of stakeholders.
Research for Policy Advocacy
Improving energy access and enabling gender and social inclusion
WEFT, in association with Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective and KPMG-India, was involved in assessments of two ongoing energy sector schemes (DDUJY rural electrification scheme and UJALA LED lights scheme) to understand their real impacts on energy access and devise ways in which these schemes can be more gender sensitive and socially inclusive. The team also developed a Gender and Social Inclusion Framework for Energy Sector Investment Assessment.
Report on Ujala LED scheme available here
Report on rural electrification schemes available here
Briefing papers on sustainable energy access
A set of twelve papers sought to raise issues and bust myths around decentralised renewable energy, and pointed out several ideas for providing energy access (both electricity and cooking energy) through a range of off-grid and small-scale renewable energy options. Briefing papers (conceptualised by Rekha Krishnan, prepared by Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective and supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation) are available here:
Briefing to parliamentarians on renewable energy landscape in Odisha
Rekha Krishnan worked with Dr S P Gon Chaudhuri on a backgrounder and policy brief for parliamentarians and legislators on the potential for and challenges in scaling up renewable energy in Odisha with a focus on decentralized renewable energy and its role in addressing energy access. The report supported by Climate Parliament and prepared by the Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective is available here.
Decision Support Systems
Clean cooking energy decision support tool
A multi-criteria system to assess cooking energy options on a range of parameters representing aspirations and expectations of various stakeholders (most importantly the cook). A presentation on this tool (developed by Ashen India Renewable Energy Collective team along with Rekha Krishnan, WEFT) is available here.
A summary of recommendations for scaling up renewable energy for cooking in a systematic manner is available here
RE-LAD toolkit: Integrating renewable energy with local area development
(in partnership with Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective, supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation)
AIREC – a network of Ashden-award winning individuals and organisations sought to partner with Rekha Krishnan of WEFT to develop a toolkit to showcase the potential of a range of decentralised renewable energy (including solar home systems, solar pumps, solar power packs, biogas, improved biomass cookstoves, RE-powered micro grids) in reliably and affordably meeting the energy needs for development sectors such as drinking water, healthcare, education and rural livelihoods. This toolkit which will be useful for businesses, policy makers, parliamentarians and development sector agencies will be in the public domain shortly.
Towards global energy security – Understanding energy risks and vulnerabilities in hotspots
An assessment of energy risks and vulnerabilities of countries and sub-regions across the globe to pin-point geo-political, social and environmental “hotspots” from the energy security perspective. A publication based on this document is available at this link:
Solar water heating in India: Manuals for policy-makers and technicians
(in partnership with Greentech Knowledge Solutions, supported by UNDP-India)
Drawing on the past work on solar water heating by Greentech and others, WEFT helped put together targeted, reader-friendly and implementation-ready material on solar water heating for two sets of stakeholders. One of them has a policy and business focus and focuses on market segmentation, financing and policy imperatives. The second document contains technical information on design, installation and on operation & maintenance; and is targeted at technicians, manufacturers, aggregators. These documents will be available shortly:
- Solar Water Heating in India: A Ready Reckoner for Policy-makers and Businesses
- Solar Water Heating in India: A user manual for implementers and practitioners
Needs and Impacts Assessment
Impact of rising oil price on the poor and implications for the achievement of the MDGs
Policy study that included assessment of macro-economic impacts (global, regional / sub-regional and national) and micro economic impacts (household and community levels) of the steep oil price rise starting late 2002. This study was for the Asia Pacific region with a focus on a dozen countries including field studies in four countries – China, India, Indonesia and Laos. This project contributed to “Overcoming Vulnerability to Rising Oil Prices: Options for Asia and the Pacific”, a publication of the Regional Energy Programme for Poverty Reduction of the UNDP. It is available here
Impact of population growth on water and the quality of life
A study at the macro and micro levels of the linkages between population and water, involving household surveys, focus group discussions and facility mapping. The village level case studies provided insights into stress in water collection, water-related health concerns, and dimensions of poverty as aggravators of water stress. A publication on this study is available at http://www.epw.in/journal/2003/37/commentary/water-stress-indian-villages.html
CSR Project Design
Integrated energy-water plans for 142 villages across five blocks in Damanjodi, Odisha were undertaken by Rekha Krishnan with CREWA (Centre for Research on Energy and Water Access). A comprehensive baseline survey was undertaken to profile the villages and to assess in-depth the needs and potential for water and energy interventions. This study provided direction to NALCO in its short-term as well as long-term engagement with the community.
Financing / Business Models
Economics of technology transitions in the Indian brick kilns sector
There are enormous possibilities for brick kilns to adopt environment-friendly, energy-efficient and resource-efficient practices and technologies. The focus of the ongoing effort is to detail the economics of such transitions and explore financing options (in partnership with Greentech Knowledge Solutions and Climate and Health Research Network). The report from an initial exploratory phase is based on a few case studies and consultations and seeks to understand the risks and opportunities in this sector. WEFT RE bricks phase 1
We are building on this effort and engaging with progressive clay bricks enterprises and technology suppliers to bridge the financing gap in transitioning to resource efficient bricks.
Micro hydro for sustainable energy access
Mini and micro hydro plants are difficult to run in stand-alone mode due to variations between load and generation at various times of the year. Due to seasonal fluctuations in the availability of power these plants face the risk of abandonment in the face of arrival of the grid (albeit unreliable). It is believed that hybridisation of a certain RE with other RE can often improve reliability. Additionally, the inclusion of micro controllers and grid-interaction and linkages with productive energy uses makes these systems sustainable even after the grid arrives. This constituted the basic rationale for a project involving a grid-interactive micro hydel-solar hybrid system as a pilot plant in Upper Killing, Assam.
A recently initiated project – supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Project – we are seeking to demonstate the techno-economic viability of solar hybridisation and grid-interactivity of small hydro plants. Our geographical focus is on the North Eastern States, Uttarakhand, West Bengal. We will be developing business models and policy suggestions for micro hydro to evolve into a sustainable option for improving energy access in different contexts. This project is being executed in technical partnership with the NB Institute of Rural Technology.
Conferences, virtual networks and webinars across disciplines and issues
Conceptualising and designing projects towards sustainable and climate resilient cities in India
(in partnership with Vasudha Foundation and German Watch, supported by CDKN – Climate and Development Knowledge Network)
These two infographics summarise some of the key findings from detailed multi-stakeholder consultations and site visits in the city of Gurgaon to understand the needs, aspirations, perceptions of the city of Gurgaon on various aspects of climate-compatible cities including
- Integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency
- Solid waste management
- Wastewater management, water conservation and rainwater harvesting
- Sustainable transport
The team developed case studies around the practices and systems adopted by several residential complexes, office complexes and commercial centres. Gurgaon has vibrant civil society organisations working on various aspects of sustainability and their efforts were also documented. The information collected during the process of case study preparation is available below:
Ideating with Youth
WEFT is offering internship opportunities to school and university students to explore research projects. Opportunities are currently open for Decentralised Renewable Energy, Water and Sanitation for All and Climate Resilient Agriculture.