Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rural Electrification in India

This is my first post as part of Blueray Solar. In this post I will try to cover rural electrification scenario in India, and how we can address power crisis issues in India, and possible solutions that will help the situation.

At present as per one research more than 80% villages are electrified or have partial electrification in India. However less than 60% actually are able to use power, and power is not always supplied to villages even thought there are electric connectivity. This equates to more than 70% of the population in India still live in darkness. Yes that is true, they are unable to perform any duties ( even normal day to day work) after it is dark. With this situation how do we expect to have a "100% LITERACY" in India, when kids in villages cannot even read and learn after dusk.

Here is a graph from NSS data showing electrification scenario in in India

There is so much economic growth potential being lost due to this darkness in villages. For example, if there is light then villages can on their own with small scale industries. These can be setup easily by utilizing local youth and engaging them in training programs. Let us assume a situation where a village is provided with light for 4 hours a day (say 6 to 10 PM).

Let me explain and show how this will change the economy and spur exponential growth.

  • 4 hours of light means students will get in to a routine and a habit to continue studies beyond their school hours, and will be able to complete assignments.
  • Light after dark will help villages to host training programs to youth and adults in new initiatives, after they finish their daily work at the fields.
  • Light after hours = additional work can be performed in creating arts and handicrafts, which then can become a self sustaining business. This in turn will generate more revenue, and hence improve the GDP of the villagers.
  • Once earnings of households improve, will lead to improved buying capacity, which in turn will boost economy of the country.
  • Primary season for users migrating to urban areas today, is because most villagers depend solely on agriculture as their primary source of income. If this source fails continuously for one or two years, then they are left with no choice but to look for jobs in the city. By providing light to villages, this migration can be reduced by engaging villagers in local entrepreneurship.
  • Less number of people migrating to urban sector equates to less pollution, and hence reduce exploitation of resources in urban sector.

Considering the above mentioned points, it is very clear that the MOST important priority for any ENERGY company, and Indian GOVT is to look at village electrification at utmost priority.

In my next post I will cover strategies in achieving rural electrification goal, and how Blueray Solar is making a difference in this sector.

Happy reading.