Powering India: Feeding an insatiable need
Friday 27 November 2009
Like most countries, India's electricity is distributed to its population via a large, centralised grid system. Through the construction of thermal power plants and large hydroelectric dams, the Government has added 150MW of installed generating capacity to this grid in the 62 years since Independence, yet such priority is given to feeding the insatiable demands of the cities that 78 million people in India are still living without an electricity connection.
Yet a connection to the electricity grid far from assures a dependable supply of power for those living in rural areas. A recent report by Greenpeace India, Still Waiting, surveyed a tier A city, a tier B city and three villages in five states across India, and found that, while the cities received between 22 and 24 hours of electricity supply per day, all the villages surveyed had a power supply of less than 12 hours a day on average. In the villages, electricity is used for pumping drinking water, irrigating crops and keeping wild animals at bay, in addition to lighting and for small industry.
To compound their problems, the rural population are often the ones who must suffer the local environmental and health impacts of centralised power plants, such as the choking grey ash produced by burning coal, or the inhospitable and marshy land created by impounding large water bodies.
Kielder Forest considered as site for return of wild lynx to the UK after 1,300 year absence
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Humanity's 'inexorable' population growth is so rapid that even a global catastrophe would not stop it
Melting ice could cause gravity shift
Have you heard 'the hum'? Mystery of Earth's low droning noise could now be solved
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...