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Encouraging renewable entrepreneurship in India

New Delhi: A letter from Ms Gundu Sudharani MP, member of the Climate Parliament group in the Indian Parliament, written to Mr Kalraj Mishra, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), has argued that there is tremendous potential for replacing the use of fossil fuels in the MSME sector with more sustainable renewable energy alternatives.

Ms Sudharani in her detailed letter to MSME outlined specific areas where various government programs can be integrated with renewable energy programmes like Technology and Quality Upgradation Support to MSMEs (TEQUP), Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) for technology upgradation of Micro and Small Enterprises, and the Micro & Small Enterprise Cluster Development Programme.

Small and medium sized enterprises account for nearly 45 per cent of Indian industrial output, and 40 per cent of exports, directly and indirectly. There are nearly 29.8 million enterprises in various industries, employing almost 69 million people. A large number of MSMEs in urban areas and majority of the rural MSMEs use low-efficiency devices to derive heat from biomass fuels like firewood and assorted agricultural wastes. So in the face of dwindling reserves and ever-increasing prices of fossil fuels, the focus should be on finding ways by which MSMEs can switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources like solar and efficient biomass. Prime Minister of India has promised to supply 24X& power supply to all by 2019 and this will not be possible without several decentralized energy supply enterprises in rural areas. The Ministry can play a catalytic role by encouraging local entrepreneurs in the area of rural renewable energy based services which has a scope for boosting employment in villages.

Sudharani also requested in her letter to the Ministry to take these suggestions into consideration during the preparation of Demands for Grants and other activities of the Ministry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

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