[Answered] Clean energy solutions are transforming women’s livelihoods at the grassroots, but they need to be scaled up. Discuss

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain how clean energy solutions are transforming women’s livelihoods at the grassroots. Also write some measures to improve further.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Climate change affects women and girls disproportionately, as they are more vulnerable to threats posed by the crisis. From solar refrigerators to biomass-based cold storage to bulk milk chillers, distributed renewable energy (DRE) is transforming women’s livelihoods at the grassroots. According to recent Council on Energy, Environment and Water study, out of the 13,000 early adopters of clean tech appliances, more than 80% are women.

How clean energy is transforming women’s livelihoods at the grassroots?

  • Renewable energy­ powered technologies provide an additional advantage to women farmers and micro-entrepreneurs by enhancing income opportunities through mechanisation.
  • They also free women from several gender assigned manual activities that are laborious.
  • By 2030, India is expected to see 30 million women ­owned MSMEs,employing around 150 million people. Renewable energy livelihood technologies have the potential to transform rural livelihoods, with women at the core of this transition.
  • Health-related benefits as a result of less human suffering, reduced health-related expenditure as a result of less illness and the value of productivity gains resulting from less illness and fewer deaths.

What more can be done?

  • Leverage the experience of early women adopters: DRE appliances are perceived as high risk purchases, especially by women users due to socio economic reasons. Technology providers must leverage early users to share their experienceswith potential customers
  • Organiselocal events and demos: People want to see a high­-tech product before believing in its ability and promised benefits, especially women. It can help them procure, finance and use these machines.
  • Enable easy financeto purchase products:g. Technology manufacturers and promoters should also ensure adequate after sales service and buy backs.
  • Supportbackwards and forward market linkages:   Many rural products have larger market potential. Thus, finding and connecting producers to consumption hubs in urban areas are equally important to generate higher incomes.
  • Collectivising women or establishing business modelsthat enable them to sell to an intermediary can ensure a regular revenue stream.
  • Multiple Ministries are working towards promoting livelihoods for women. They should embrace clean energy solutions to further their respective programmes and outcomes.

Restricted land rights, lack of access to financial resources, training and technology, and limited access to political decision-making spheres often prevent women from playing a full role in tackling climate change. They are crucial to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

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