Energy and its present use
Energy use in India with respect to the sources of energy, usage pattern, rural-urban divide in energy consumption are highlighted.
Energy demand in rural areas is on a steady rise. India is the fourth largest energy consumer in the world. The present energy use is mostly in the areas of domestic cooking and lighting, agriculture, transport and industrial sectors. India’s energy basket has a mix of all the resources available including renewables. The largest energy source is coal, followed by petroleum and traditional biomass. According to the 2011 Census, the household-level data indicates that only 55.3 per cent of rural homes used electricity as the primary source for lighting. Energy access, with about one fourth of the population lacking access to electricity and energy security, with the country relying on imports for a considerable amount of its energy use, particularly for crude petroleum are key challenges that the country faces with respect to energy. Wide disparity in energy use pattern between the haves and have-nots, urban and rural and men and women are also a cause of concern.
Present status of energy use in India
In India, of the 121 crore Indians, 83.3 crore live in rural areas while 37.7 crore stay in urban areas. Energy availability, access and affordability are vital if our country is to keep its pace of development. As on 30.11.2017, electrification in 3,269 census villages have been reported as unelectrified. Among them, 1,052 villages have been reported un-inhabited. Remaining 2,217 villages are expected to be electrified by 1st May 2018. These 2217 villages are located in the State of Arunachal Pradesh (1069), Assam (214), Bihar (111), Chhattisgarh (176), J&K (99), Jharkhand (176), Karnataka (8), Madhya Pradesh (34), Manipur (54), Meghalaya (50), Mizoram (11), Odisha (182) and Uttarakhand (33)21% of our villages and about 50% of rural households are as yet not electrified. It is targeted to achieve universal household electrification in the country by 31st March 2019.
During 2015-16, the per capita energy consumption in India is 1075 kilowatt-hour (Kwh). According to the official data the total installed capacity of the country stood at 315426.32 MW, as on February 28, 2017. Thermal power plants constitute 68.2 % of the installed capacity and hydropower about 14. There are 21 nuclear power reactors in the country with a total installed capacity of 5780 MW.
The peak power deficit was 1.6 % during 2016-2017 as against 3.2% last year. As on March 2017, 99.20 percentage of villages (ie. 5,92,972) were electrified. India's per capita electricity consumption is 1075 kWh in 2015-16.
There is a wide disparity in the per capita energy consumption pattern between rural and urban areas. As per NSSO 68th round data, 67.3% of rural households depend on firewood for cooking and about 15% on LPG as against 14% of urban households depend on firewood for cooking and about 68.4% on LPG. Similarly for home lighting, while 26.5% of rural households depend on kerosene and 72.7% depend on electricity, 96.1% of urban households depend on electricity and 3.2% on kerosene. However, the number of LPG connections in the country has been increasing and as on 1.11. 2017, the LPG penetration in the country stands at 78.3%.
Women spend upto four hours of their productive time of a day in fetching fuelwood and cooking. Children too are involved in collection of fuel wood. A significant amount of rural energy used is derived from biomass. This puts heavy pressure on the already declining vegetation in villages. Use of inefficient chulhas often increases the drudgery of women and children who are involved in collection of fuel wood. Moreover, the smoke generated during indoor cooking from these chulhas affects the respiratory health of women and children to a great extent.
Increased energy conservation, improved energy efficiency and enhanced energy production from renewable sources can definitely lead India in general and rural areas in particular to become self sustainable communities.
Source : Portal content team