E33 – Energy Transition in India: Empowering Communities with Rachita Misra, SELCO Foundation

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Embark on a transformative journey with Rachita Misra (SELCO Foundation), as she unveils a vision for a sustainable energy future in India. From combating unequal access to resources to empowering communities through energy, Rachita shares her insights on adapting to India's diverse needs and addressing the challenges posed by increasing air conditioning demand. Join us on Energ'ethic for an inspiring conversation that explores the transformative power of sustainable energy in shaping India's path towards a more inclusive future.
E33 - Rachita Misra on Energ'Ethic

In this episode of Energ’Ethic, we are delighted to have Rachita Misra, the dynamic Associate Director (Knowledge and Advocacy) at SELCO Foundation, as our guest. Rachita’s remarkable journey spans from being a trained architect to becoming a passionate advocate for local ownership and improving energy access for underserved communities.

Rachita’s mission goes beyond quick fixes, focusing on creating a more equitable system that provides equal opportunities for all. By harnessing the power of sustainable energy, she addresses not only energy access but also its broader impact on livelihoods, health, and well-being.

Navigating India’s diverse landscape, Rachita and her team strategically choose geographies to develop scalable models for transforming the energy access system. Their approach involves understanding the unique applications of energy and adapting to local needs, considering the aspirations and diverse lifestyles of different regions.

Democratizing energy systems is at the core of Rachita’s vision. She envisions a future where individuals can take ownership of their energy generation, paying for what they need and embracing decentralization. To achieve this, she emphasizes the importance of designing technologies that meet communities’ specific requirements while ensuring affordability remains accessible for high-quality solutions.

Rachita’s impactful work extends beyond energy access. Collaborating with various departments, from health to agriculture, she advocates for a decentralized narrative. By upgrading health facilities and integrating energy considerations into planning, she envisions a future where transitioning off the grid is celebrated as a positive step.

During the conversation, we also explore the challenges posed by the rising demand for air conditioning, especially in India’s rapidly growing market. Rachita advocates for energy-efficient building designs as a means to alleviate the burden on energy affordability and poverty.

Furthermore, Rachita sheds light on the heat stress experienced by impoverished communities living in corrugated metal houses. Often doubling as workplaces, these spaces struggle with heat capture and inadequate ventilation. Understanding and addressing the unique circumstances of these communities are essential for developing sustainable solutions.

Rachita’s passion shines through as she emphasizes the need for more human resources in the development sector. Collaborative efforts and dedicated individuals committed to creating sustainable concepts will be the driving force behind meaningful change.

Join us for this enlightening conversation as Rachita Misra shares her expertise, experiences, and vision for a more inclusive and sustainable energy transition in India and beyond.

Find here Rachita’s intervention during the 2023 International Energy Poverty Action Week.

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