Tap renewable energy
This is a must to ensure energy access and energy security
INDIA IS SUFFERING from acute energy poverty. Per capita electricity consumption of the country is one of the lowest in the world with 778 kiloWatt-hour (kWh) per year against the global average of 2,600 kWh per year. About 306 million people ,mostly those in rural areas, do not have access to electricity. Worse, 818 million people depend on traditional biomass for cooking. In 2013, India ranked 136th on the human development index of undp.
Clearly, energy access issues need to be urgently addressed. While doing so India needs to be cautious as it is vulnerable to climate change impacts. At present, coal-based power generation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the country. These emissions will increase significantly if the growing number of coalfired power stations are not checked.
The country’s dependency on hydro carbon-based fuel is also increasing by the year.At present, it meets 30 per cent of the primary energy requirement through imports.The new government must strike a balance between energy security and its impact on health and climate.
1. The government must achieve the goals of Rural Electrification Policy and provide at least one unit of electricity per day to every rural household by 2019.Renewable energy-based mini-grids have emerged as the solution for energy access. They must be promoted through effective policy and financial mechanisms. The government must also provide clean cooking fuel in rural India through lpg cylinders, piped biogas or improved cookstoves.
2. India needs to harness the full potential of renewable sources.The government must frame policies so that the share of renewable energy increases from marginal to mainstream in the total energy mix. The 12th Plan allocates
` 10,94,938 crore for the energy sector, of which 3 per cent is for renewable energy. This should increase to 25 per cent.
3. According to the Ministry of Power, about 25,000 MW can be saved through efficient use of energy. This can also help reduce the demand-supply gap by minimal investment.The new government should ensure that energy efficiency is embedded in all kinds of energy uses.
4. Current energy policies are fragmented and handled by five separate ministries. The government must consolidate these policies and bring coherence among ministries by instituting an umbrella organisation that will have a holistic view of India’s energy mix model.
5.Even renewable energy can be detrimental to the environment if adequate measures are not taken. The new government must ensure that the environment is protected.
choose its energy carefully because it is vulnerable to climate change