Consumer (Co-)Ownership in Renewables in India

  • Satyendra Nath Mishra
  • Jens Lowitzsch


There is no clearly defined concept of consumer (co-)ownership of renewable energy sources (RES) in the Electricity Act of 2003. However, to promote RE both federal and state governments provide facilitative measures through schemes, incentives, etc. for consumer (co-)ownership at a varying level. In rural areas, decentralized off-grid RE installations are implemented, most of which are triggered by social policies and are project based, with public financial support be it from the government or donor agencies. In 2011 the Solar Energy Corporation of India was established with the target of generating 20,000 MW power and connecting it to the grid by 2022, which also includes support to solar rooftop PV systems. However, as the RE sector is dominated by the interests of commercial actors, there seems to be little space for policies supporting individual consumer (co-)ownership in RE except for “captive power generation plants” (CGP) for self-consumption for commercial or industrial use. CGPs can be set up by a registered cooperative or an association. Depending on how the consumer is defined, for example in captive power generation for commercial use, in community projects in villages, or simply as individual users, and on the choice of RES and location, there is a wide variation of forms of RE consumer (co-)ownership promoted across India. The concepts vary with regard to the contractual arrangement chosen, for example PPP, business corporations, cooperatives, and trusteeship, and with regard to the involvement of actors like federal government, state government, donor agencies, industries, community and individual citizens. In rural areas, off-grid RES are often built and operated by state as well as donor agencies, with ownership typically shared under the legal form of a cooperative and the responsibility for day-to-day operations and collection of electricity bills, etc. assigned to local institutions.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satyendra Nath Mishra
    • 1
  • Jens Lowitzsch
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Rural ManagementXavier University BhubaneswarPuriIndia
  2. 2.European University ViadrinaFrankfurt (Oder)Germany

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