MINI-GRIDS TO END ENERGY POVERTY
Over the past few decades, solar energy has become increasingly relevant due to its reducing costs and social acceptability. Successive Governments have given a solid push to making solar energy a well regarded reality
Energy poverty is a recurring chronic problem in India today, and this is being made worse by the ever-increasing pace of development that is unable to keep a balance between the need to improve human development indicators and the necessity to prevent environmental pollution and ecological destruction.
About two-third of the Indian population is still deprived of modern energy services; according to official estimates nearly 300 million people have no access to electricity and in addition to this, if the three-fourth of rural households connected to the grid that have erratic and less than six hours of electricity supply is included, then about 700 million people in the country suffering from energy poverty.
With this 700 million population, looking for alternative sources of energy such as biomass as the primary energy source for cooking, the risk to health of the people and environmental pollution is suddenly increased manifold. In fact, the estimated economic burden of using traditional fuels, including health and ecological costs is expected to be Rs30,000 crore.