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ENERGY POVERTY INDEX FOR INDIA



  Jun 07, 2024

ENERGY POVERTY INDEX FOR INDIA



What is the Household Energy Poverty Index (HEPI)?

The Household Energy Poverty Index (HEPI) is a measure used to assess the extent of energy poverty among households in India. It is constructed using a multi-dimensional framework that includes 15 key energy indicators. These indicators cover various aspects of energy access and affordability, providing a comprehensive picture of energy poverty.

Causes of Energy Poverty

1. Lack of Access to Modern Energy: Despite improvements, many households still rely on traditional biomass for cooking and lack access to reliable electricity.

2. Affordability Issues: Even when households have access to modern energy sources like LPG, they may not afford regular refills and revert to traditional fuels.

3. Quality and Reliability: Many households experience frequent power outages and poor quality of electricity supply.

4. Geographical Disparities: Eastern and northeastern states in India are more vulnerable to energy poverty due to underdeveloped infrastructure and economic challenges.

Effects of Energy Poverty

1. Health Impacts: Reliance on traditional biomass for cooking can lead to indoor air pollution, causing respiratory illnesses.

2. Economic Impacts: Lack of reliable energy affects productivity and limits economic opportunities, especially in rural areas.

3. Educational Impacts: Poor energy access hampers children’s ability to study after dark, affecting their education.

4. Social Impacts: Energy poverty exacerbates inequalities and can lead to social marginalization.

Remedies to Address Energy Poverty

1. Improving Energy Access:

• Government Initiatives: Programs like Saubhagya and Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana have significantly increased access to electricity and modern cooking fuels.
• Rural Electrification: Extending the grid to remote and rural areas to ensure all households have access to electricity.

2. Enhancing Affordability:

• Subsidies: Providing financial assistance to low-income households to make energy services more affordable.

• Financing Options: Offering low-interest loans or easy payment schemes for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances.

3. Ensuring Quality and Reliability:

• Infrastructure Development: Investing in upgrading and maintaining energy infrastructure to reduce outages and improve supply quality.

• Renewable Energy: Promoting the use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind to provide reliable and sustainable energy solutions.

4. Addressing Geographical Disparities:

• Focused Policies: Implementing region-specific policies and programs to address the unique challenges faced by states with high energy poverty.

• Decentralized Energy Solutions: Encouraging the use of decentralized energy systems, such as solar home systems, in remote areas.

Conclusion

The HEPI highlights the widespread issue of energy poverty in India, with more than 65% of households experiencing some form of energy deprivation. By focusing on improving access, affordability, and quality of energy, and addressing geographical disparities, India can make significant strides in reducing energy poverty. These efforts are crucial for ensuring economic development, improving health outcomes, and enhancing overall quality of life for its citizens.




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