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Achieving universal rural energy access in india: A low carbon pathway

Balachandra, P (2012) Achieving universal rural energy access in india: A low carbon pathway. In: International Conference on Planet under Pressure – 2012, March 25-29, 2012, Excel London, UK.

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India's energy challenges are three pronged: presence of majority energy poor lacking access to modern energy; need for expanding energy system to bridge this access gap as well as to meet the requirements of fast-growing economy; and the desire to partner with global economies in mitigating the threat of climate change. The presence of 364 million people without access to electricity and 726 million relying on biomass for cooking out of a total rural population of 809 million indicate the seriousness of challenge. In this paper, we discuss an innovative approach to address this challenge, which intends to take advantage of recent global developments and untapped capabilities possessed by India. Intention is to use climate change mitigation imperative as a stimulus and adopt a public-private-partnership-driven ‘business model' with innovative institutional, regulatory, financing, and delivery mechanisms. Some of the innovations are: creation of rural energy access authorities within the government system as leadership institutions; establishment of energy access funds to enable transitions from the regime of "investment/fuel subsidies" to "incentive-linked" delivery of energy services; integration of business principles to facilitate affordable and equitable energy sales and carbon trade; and treatment of entrepreneurs as implementation targets. This proposal targets 100% access to modern energy carriers by 2030 through a judicious mix of conventional and biomass energy systems with an investment of US$35 billion over 20 years. The estimated annual cost of universal energy access is about US$9 billion for a GHG mitigation potential of 213Tg CO2e at an abatement cost of US$41/tCO2e. It is a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Households benefit from modern energy carriers at affordable cost; entrepreneurs run profitable energy enterprises; carbon markets have access to CERs; the government has the satisfaction of securing energy access to rural people; and globally, there is a benefit of climate change mitigation.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: Elsevier
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier.
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Management Studies
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2014 05:40
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2014 05:40
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/49278

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