Youthful Indian lady who is doing some astounding work. Her emphasis lies on including social and social esteems in energy exchanging, helping to adopt clean energy solutions faster.
Current energy exchange models are fully rational and focused on monetary earnings, Rhythima, however, acknowledged that there is actually much more at stake on the local level, where people do not always want to charge their neighbours for making use of their solar panels.
This gap in the status quo between electrification and innovations in the technology is preventing widespread adoption of microgrids and similar technologies because the models often fail. Rhythima is putting all her effort into changing this and applying models that do incorporates social and cultural values. Her work is tremendously important in serving the rural poor with electricity so that their lives can improve by installing lightning, cooling fans, refrigerators or televisions.
All the existing solutions look at either supply side issues, meaning the perspective from the energy provider, or they focus only on the demand side issues, meaning the consumer perspective. None of them focus their solution on a community level.
Who is Rhythima
At IIT Bombay, Prof. Ravi from IIT Bombay (BeTiC lab) showed her the beauty of small technological innovations for large societal challenges. Combined with the motivation of her parents, that urged her to what she loved instead of going for the big-money jobs, she decided to pursue her research career. She left to the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, where she got the chance to expand her work on create solutions that could help change India, and the world, for the better. Prof. Paulien Herder, and Dr. Amineh Ghorbani supervised her to a stunning 9.5 for her master thesis, where she examined the influence of different (social) policies on the adoption of solar panels in rural areas, which will help companies and governments to adopt better practices.
In her masters thesis in policy analysis at TU Delft, She worked on this problem and came up with a framework, which tries to model how regulations or rules can be adapted around the changing community.
But Rhythima did not stop there. Combining a second master thesis in computer science in Zurich, with the start of an organisation called Energy Bazaar, she is putting her learnings into practice, creating actual solutions for increasing energy access. By developing decentralised energy markets, soon energy could become available anywhere….for anyone.
One of such project in making is Energy Bazaar, where they bring decentralized energy exchanges to rural Indian households, with grid optimizations and control.
A debt of gratitude is in order for your work Rhythima and keep innovating!
Researcher, ETH Zurich | Co-founder, Energy Bazaar
I would like to thank Yvo Hunink for his input.