The Energy Crisis
India’s energy consumption has been increasing at one of the fastest rates in the world due to population growth and economic development, but it remains severely constrained in terms of overall energy availability. The supply of energy has not kept up with the demand, causing a severe energy crisis. The lack of energy resources is an even larger problem in rural areas. Although India has emerged as a global leader in software and business services, the majority of Indians still live a rural agricultural life. Nearly 75% of the rural population of India still depends on firewood, agricultural residues, and dung. The available fuel is only about 1 /3 of what is needed.
There is a significant potential in India for generation of energy from renewable energy sources such as solar energy, hydro energy, wind, biomass, bio-fuels and others. While proven technologies have emerged over the last few decades, the economic viability of renewable energy is yet to be achieved and requires creation and adoption of innovative business and financing models. Renewable energy sources can have a definitive impact on the socio-economic development of India. Technologies like efficient cook stoves, biomass gasifiers and solar panels can make a great impact on India’s energy problem.
Coal, natural gas, and uranium are alternative, non-renewable energy resources to cheap oil and each has its own advantages and limitations, but none of these are as versatile as petroleum. The replacement of oil will require a mix of energy sources, including clean renewable energy such as solar and wind power. This adjustment will involve significant lifestyle changes by all of us.