Almost everyone understands energy security but not as many when it comes to energy poverty. More than 800 million people or nearly one out of every seven in the world today don’t have access to electricity and several million more who are denied a reliable source of power.
This is perhaps one of those issues that does not stare us in our face like global warming or economic poverty. Yet, if one scratches the surface, lack of access to electricity is a serious challenge, more so in developing countries like India.
The real challenge in providing universal access to power is in fact more about economics than anything else. There is a supply side challenge and a demand side challenge that one should understand and interestingly these are closely connected.
Building large power plants and transmission grids that run into several hundred kilometers before landing at sub-stations and the intricate last mile connections that take electricity to homes, schools, hospitals and factories is how it works today. A large infrastructure such as this comes with cost i.e. economic and environmental, not to mention other related challenges like land acquisition etc.
Higher costs means a vast majority of Indians cannot afford to pay for them, which leads to other problems like power theft. In many ways, this has been the main reason why universal access to power has been a long pending issue in India.
After more than seven decades of gaining independence and a century after the first power plant was commissioned in India, we have landed on a solution that can be game changer for everyone – Solar Microgrid.