Saturday, 3 February 2018

10 Reasons India Needs Energy Democracy

What is Energy Security?
 "Energy security is the association between national security and the availability of natural resources for energy consumption." - Wikipedia

What is Energy Democracy

“Energy democracy means that everybody is ensured access to sufficient energy. Energy production must thereby neither pollute the environment nor harm people. … this means that fossil fuel resources must be left in the ground, the means of production need to be socialised and democratised, and we must rethink our overall attitude towards energy consumption.”
Why does Energy Democracy matter in a developing country like India.
Because it will address 
(1) Income inequality: We are one the top wealthiest nations but are home to a third of the world's poor!
According to the New World Wealth report India is one of the top 10 wealthiest nations of the world with a total wealth of $8,230 billion. India is now the 6th richest country in the world. Yet our poor are poorer than ever before. Yet according to World Bank: 224 million live below the poverty line - that's existing on less that $1.90 per day!

(2) Power imbalance: 
Inadequate grid and severe power deficits everywhere - lack of functional grid electricity in rural Bharat and power cuts and load shedding in urban India. 

 (3) Improve our performance in the Environmental Performance Index: 
 India now ranks No. 177 out of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index,  with the fast-tracking of environmental clearances to improve our standing in the Ease of Doing Business rankings! 

(4) Our commitments to the Paris Agreement:
By curbing our increasing GHG emissions as committed in the Paris Climate Treaty that we signed and ratified

(5) India's air pollution crises: 

(6) India's soaring fossil fuel prices & the tax burden on the common man because of the dependence on petrol and diesel.

(7) The disruption of thermal power stations & nuclear power facilities 
The  protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, in Tirunelveli district which is the single largest nuclear power station in India and the continued fears of the local communities and visible effect on the Ennore Creek as a result of the dumping of fly ash from the nearby thermal power station instigated Magsaysay award winning singer T.M. Krishna to record the Chennai Poromboke Padal.

(8) The need for LPG and the subsidy burden 

(9) The disruption of coal mining

(10) The disruption of mega-dam projects on local communities
 The 32-odd year struggle of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) shows what a devastating blow a dam project that could solve the irrigation and power problem of states do to the local communities. This region still benefits only from the NBA run Jeevan Shalas as government schools exist in this locality only in paper.

Universal access to renewable, sustainable and local energy as well as ensuring job creation in the green energy sector that ensures fair pay and living wages to employees can elevate millions from the poverty trap. The conditions to decentralize energy and involve the community in the profits of energy generations makes this India’s moment in the sun. It remains to be seen whether the model becomes mass action!

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