Solar Power – Off-Grid Distributed and Decentralized Renewable Power: Most Important Topic for 2021 RBI Assistant Exam

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  • Distributed/decentralized renewable power projects using wind energy, biomass energy, and hydro power and hybrid systems are being established in the country to meet the energy requirements of isolated communities and areas which are not likely to be electrified in near future.

Off-Grid Renewable Energy/Power

  • Biomass based heat and power projects and industrial waste to-energy projects for meeting captive needs
  • Biomass gasifiers for rural and industrial energy applications
  • Watermills/micro hydro projects – for meeting electricity requirement of remote villages
  • Small Wind Energy & Hybrid Systems - for mechanical and electrical applications, mainly where grid electricity is not available.
  • Solar PV Roof-top Systems for abatement of diesel for power generation in urban areas
  • The main objectives of the programme are: supporting RD&D to make such systems more reliable and cost-effective, demonstration, field testing, strengthening manufacturing base.


  • To promote off-grid applications of solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems for meeting lighting, electricity requirements of individuals, institutions, communities, commercial and industrial establishments.
  • To create awareness and demonstrate effective and innovative use of Solar systems for individual/community/institutional/industrial applications.
  • To encourage innovation in addressing market needs and promoting sustainable business models.
  • To provide support to channel partners and potential beneficiaries, within the framework of boundary conditions and in a flexible demand driven mode.
  • To create a paradigm shift needed for commoditization of off-grid decentralized solar applications.
  • To support consultancy services, seminars, symposia, capacity building, awareness campaigns, human resource development, etc.
  • To encourage replacement of kerosene, diesel, electricity and other fuels wherever possible.


  • The programme covers the following components.
  • Solar Street Lights: 3,00, 000 numbers of solar street lights will be installed throughout the country with special emphasis on areas where there is no facility for street lighting systems through grid power, North Eastern States and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts.
  • Stand-alone Solar Power Plants: Solar power plants of individual size up to 25 kWp (kilo Watt peak) will be promoted in areas where grid power has not reached or is not reliable. This component is mainly aimed at providing electricity to schools, hostels, panchayats, police stations and other public service institutions. The aggregated capacity of solar power plants would be 100 MWp.
  • Solar Study Lamps: 25,00, 000 numbers of solar study lamps will be provided in North Eastern States and LWE affected districts.

Solar Energy Scheme for Small Powerloom Units

  • Government has approved a new scheme to provide financial assistance/capital subsidy to small powerloom units, for installation of Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) plant, in order to alleviate the problem of power cut/shortage faced by decentralized powerloom units in the country.
Decentralized Renewable Power

Under the Solar Energy Scheme, the Plants Have Two Options

  • On-Grid Solar Power Plant where power cut/shortage is negligible and power tariff is high
  • Off-Grid Solar Power Plant in areas where there is power shortage & on-grid power is not continuously available.

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