April 1, 2022
Abir Ranjan Biswas’s Special Mention on accessibility for rural households to reliable electricity supply
Sir, India’s electricity access challenge is formidable. About 300 million people lack electricity, while an additional 100 million have less than four hours of electricity per day, and possibly several million more suffer from unreliable supply. Poor supply leads to low interest among rural consumers which further leads to low returns/revenues for DISCOMs, forming a vicious cycle. Decentralized renewable energy, which is usually small scale and generated close to the point of use, benefits entire households in many ways, maximizing the impact of clean energy. In general, rural electrification is costlier than urban electrification due to high infrastructural, servicing and billing costs, arising
from low population density and low industrial/commercial needs. Additionally, decentralized renewables have immense potential for creating jobs, empowering entrepreneurship, and enhancing livelihood opportunities for the rural communities. Adoption of local climate-friendly clean energy solutions can also help address the ongoing challenges of reliability, quality and affordability of energy in rural areas. Interventions, such as large-scale adoption of decentralized renewable energy, can make clean energy accessible to all while also meeting climate commitments.
Supply-side concerns necessitate streamlined technology and policy pushes, whilst demand-side concerns can be addressed by focused interventions such as capacity building and facilitating access to funding. Empowering women, who are often involved in agricultural activities, with clean energy generation at the village level can truly improve energy access and advance in livelihoods. I urge the Government to take necessary steps in this regard. Thank you, Sir.