Re-envisaging renewable energy potential in NE
India is battling with a two-pronged problem of environment as well as energy crisis.Together with its prolonged struggle to remove the evils of inequality, poverty and improvement of the human development indicators, a constant degradation of environment and ecological destruction has become a runaway problem, leaving a large section of the population in the country as energy poor.
According to a study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) New Delhi, about 300 million people have no access to electricity. And the biggest challenge before the nation is to figure out sustainable ways to meet its energy requirements without compromising the ecological balance and the looming danger of climate change.
Experts from the field of renewable energy are of the view that the current energy policy of 2006 is primarily focused on developing fossil fuel resources for electricity and direct use of oil and gas for transport, industrial usage and cooking. Advocates of change argue that mere shift to renewable electricity will be insufficient. There is a larger need to adopt a renewable electricity future that is affordable and accessible to all.
The research carried out by the CSE in 2013-14, the average per capita per annum consumption of electricity was only 957 units which has been estimated to have increased to 1,010 units a year. According to the Ministry of Power, out of a total of 5, 97,464 villages in India, 5,79, 209 villages have been electrified as on June 12, 2016. It has been a traditional custom to depend on the grid expansion as a means to achieve high electrification rates in a country like India. But the practice has faced a challenge and has largely failed to provide proper supply of electricity to the poor for a plethora of reasons, most prominent being willingness of the distribution companies to supply power and political interference.