Renewable Energy Opportunities in India and Multicriteria Analysis of the Renewable Energy Sources using Analytic Hierarchy Process Applicable to Decentralized Energy Generation for Rural Electrification

Sanjeev H. Kulkarni, T. R. Anil


Although official estimates indicate that 95% of Indian villages are electrified, fewer than 50 % of Indian households actually consume electricity. Until recently, the main policy has been to extend the grid to villages in rural areas in order to emphasize productive uses for agriculture. Today, there is a new emphasis on making sure rural households have access to and adopt electricity. Renewable energy technologies can help countries meet their policy goals for secure, reliable and affordable energy to expand electricity access and promote development. Off grid renewable energy technologies satisfy energy demand directly and avoid the need for long distribution infrastructures. Several studies have been performed in last many years as to which type of energy source would be the most appropriated choice for Decentralized Energy generation (DCRE) systems.  Solar PV, Wind, Biomass, Fuel cells and micro turbines are the ideal options for decentralised generation systems and these green sources are inexhaustible, environmentally friendly and have government incentives for development in majority countries including India. Energy planning using multi-criteria analysis has attracted the attention of decision makers for a long time. Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) techniques are attractive in problems having multiple and conflicting objectives. This article develops a methodological framework providing  insights to suitability of multi-criteria techniques in the context of operation of renewable energy sources – Biomass, wind generators, micro turbines, Solar photovoltaic cells and fuel cells.  Several parameters like, power range, costs, efficiency, impact on the environment were investigated. Based on the scheme developed by Saaty – the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) - these multi-criteria are evaluated. Two scenarios namely – environment scenario and cost scenario were considered for the analysis. Finally alternatives for renewable energy generation were ranked based on the AHP. The results indicate that wind energy is the ideal choice for energy generation in a decentralised way and is a possible solution for eliminating energy poverty.


Rural Electrification, Renewable Energy, decentralised generation, AHP

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