Nations and governments can claim to reach to the farthest planets but the fact is that a major part of so-called developed human civilization is still forced to live in poverty and darkness but no politician talks about them. A major part of population of our own country does not have access to the electricity and clean energy. Approximately around 1.2 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity. 2.8 billion burn charcoal, wood, or other biomass to cook and heat their homes.
Lack of access to clean, reliable energy sources, or in other terms ‘energy poverty’, is a terrible problem for those who face it, leading to hours of drudgery gathering fuels and high mortality from indoor pollution As per an estimate it kills around 4 million people per year.
We cannot dream of any other sort of development or growth in the presence of energy poverty. It is a real problem that stands in the way of better health, better education, and better jobs. Scholars and experts agree that there is no other way to end extreme poverty without making energy access universal and that is what the United Nations and the World Bank have set out to do by 2030 with the “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative.
Coal is a bogus solution. It causes climate change and is also responsible for several diseases. Coal makes the situation worse. Therefore, we need to find and rely on other sources of clean energy. For a developing nation like India, it becomes imperative to look for such options.
The best and fastest solution to bringing energy access to areas where it is at present lacking is distributed energy – solar, bio-digesters, batteries, micro-grids etc. Though such micro-energy solutions do not offer a level of energy access equal to what’s available on a strong centralized grid, still they are more than enough for energy-poor societies to take the first few steps up the energy-access ladder that are effective in terms of welfare and health.