A massive power outage in India, which left millions of people without electricity last week, may have re-opened the debate on energy poverty across the globe.
Reports indicated the major outage there was caused when several grids collapsed, knocking out power in multiple areas.
Although India is often projected as a leader in the global economy, data obtained from the International Energy Agency reveals its poor account for at least a quarter of the people living in energy poverty worldwide.
Lapses in modern infrastructure, as well as denying the poor access to improvements in human and economic development are contributing factors.
“A family with no electricity access suffers severe and life-changing disadvantages every day. Children being unable to do their homework once it gets dark and those who are unwell not being able to keep medicines because they don’t have a fridge are just two of many major obstacles,” Dr. Faith Birol said after the UN announced last year that 2012 would be the "International Year of Sustainable Energy for All."
Beyond, energy poverty is a major concern in many developing countries. As the numbers show, more than a billion people have no access to electricity and another 3 billion rely on solid fuels for cooking, according to the United Nations Development Program.
Renewable energy sources, or energy derived from natural processes (such as sunlight and wind) are a major solution to curbing the problem. Because they also replenish themselves faster than they are consumed, these resources are also a major fighter against climate change.
Back in 2009, leaders of the G20 in Pittsburgh urged to increase access to energy by deployment of clean, affordable energy resources to the developing world.
In response to the crisis in India, the government has initiated and implemented various policies and programmes, notably the “Power for All by 2012” initiative by the Ministry of Power, to promote modern and cleaner energy.