The off-grid stand- alone- systems on renewable energy either
save the conventional electricity or produce the same in decentralized
smaller scale. In fact they work as mini or micro power plants in
distributed form. They have a great aggregate effect although individually
they look insignificant. Since its inception, MEDA has propagated,
promoted the use and distributed a large number of non-conventional
and renewable energy devices. Govt. subsidies and fiscal incentives
supported the programmes. Solar water heater, solar cooker, solar
lighting systems, improved wood stoves (chulhas), windmills, biogas
plants, etc. have been distributed and installed all over the State.
MEDA now has gained enough experience regarding all these systems.
The initial challenge was to develop practically adaptable renewable
energy devices. This work was carried out till 1980s by many reputed
institutions having separate energy departments such as IITs, Universities
and R & D Centres. Thereafter, many devices were distributed and tested
for their viability in the field. The NRSE systems were initially
distributed with large amount of subsidies ranging from 50 to 90 %
of the cost. Based on the field reports and acceptance by the society,
only a few of the systems such as solar water heaters and wind power
plants got commercialized. Most of the items still need Govt. support
for marketing. It is encouraging to note that the renewable energy
devices and technologies are now considered as marketable commodities
even without subsidy.