South Asia Forum for Distributed Energy (SAFDE) Opens in New Delhi, Shines Spotlight on Decentralized Solar Solutions for Energy Access and Resilience

New Delhi, August 23, 2023: “In the past year, we have seen tremendous uptake of solar rooftops. Data reveals that 5.2 million solar energy kits were sold globally in the second half of 2022, which is a 20% increase from the first half of the year and 18% higher than the previous peak in the second half of 2019. This clearly shows that we have learned to value them as we go. We have also learned to value the off-grid utilization architecture in parallel,” said Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance, while speaking at the South Asia Forum for Distributed Energy (SAFDE), organised today by GOGLA, with support from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India and Good Energies Foundation.

Shri Bhagwant Khuba, Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy, Chemicals and Fertilizers officially opened the Forum today at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi, alongside Dr. Ajay Mathur, General Director of International Solar Alliance; Bishal Thapa, Senior Director of CLASP; and Koen Peters, Executive Director of GOGLA, welcoming over 200 international and local key stakeholders, industry experts, and government representatives for impactful discussions on decentralized solar solutions for improved energy access, resilience, and sustainable growth.

In his opening remarks, Shri. Bhagwant Khuba, expressed confidence that the event would pave the way for two days of meaningful discussions around the importance of harnessing DRE to tackle current challenges faced by India and the world.

With a focus on public-private collaboration, SAFDE aims to explore innovative solutions, address challenges, and foster partnerships that can enhance energy access and stimulate economic growth in the region, particularly by driving meaningful dialogues around the future potential and continued relevance of DRE and weak-grid markets.

The ongoing discussions’ themes at SAFDE include in-depth conversations on: productive use of renewable energy, weak grid market-based solutions, supply chain challenges, SDG goals, climate justice, carbon credits, and the role of gender in the decentralized renewables sector.

In addition to enlightening discussions, the event also features multiple end-users of distributed renewable energy solutions from across India, who will be presenting impact testimonials of how these technologies have positively contributed to their lives and livelihoods. Furthermore, an engaging expo as a part of the event is showcasing innovative products and services by local and international firms, providing insights into the latest advancements and trends in the DRE sector.

“At SAFDE, we bring the key Indian and South Asian players in the distributed energy space together to talk about how we can improve energy access, support livelihoods, and deliver green growth even more than we do already. Since this is a very dynamic environment, it is crucial that we meet, learn from each other, and strike new partnerships,” said Koen Peters, Executive Director at GOGLA.

For India and South Asia where energy access is no longer an acute issue, DRE solutions are today playing a key role in providing backup power in weak grid areas, especially in terms of powering agriculture, enterprise, and health. Decentralized solar technologies help communities in adapting and building resilience to climate change, with droughts, floods, and heat waves affecting millions across the region annually.

According to GOGLA’s Global Off-Grid Solar Market report, today, 104 million people globally have benefited from improved access to energy through off-grid solar energy, and close to 15 million are benefiting from improved access to appliances. The report also notes that in the past decade, 98 million metric tons of CO2e have been avoided through the sale of off-grid solar solutions, the equivalent of taking 26 coal-fired power plants offline for a year.

As SAFDE continues, delegates will get the opportunity to explore the potential of AC-DC hybrid infrastructure and weak grid market solutions, with a strong emphasis on expanding the scope in India and beyond, and the upcoming discussions and connections made during the event will catalyze actions and initiatives that further promote and contribute towards mainstreaming decentralized solar solutions across India and South Asia.

For more information about SAFDE, visit the event website:


GOGLA is the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry, championing one of the world’s most innovative and impactful sectors. Hundreds of millions of people already benefit from affordable, high-quality, clean off-grid solar products and services. With the right support, the off-grid solar industry will be able to scale up rapidly to improve the lives of 1 billion people by 2030. To help make this happen, GOGLA promotes, safeguards, and convenes the industry stakeholders, advocating for enabling policies and increased investment as well as supporting 200+ members with effective services.


The South Asia Forum for Distributed Energy (SAFDE) is the foremost broad-based Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) event of the South Asian region, organized by GOGLA, with the support of Good Energies. The Forum is the centrepiece of the Indian and South Asian distributed energy community’s efforts to chart the business-driven route to improved energy access, in order to strengthen the quality of energy services received by Indian and South Asian households living with weak grid networks, while ensuring any communities still living without energy access are reached, and charting the way forward to enhance the productive use of energy (PURE) for improved livelihoods.