Field note: Rural Communities

Updated: Mar 24, 2020


Two-thirds of India's population live in rural communities. There are approximately 650,000 villages in India in total. The rural population contributes approximately half of India's GDP, or the goods and services produced within the country. In order for India to continue positively developing, investing in energy access is key!

Lighting enables night time studying (Simpa energy)

What community need did I learn about?

Energy access, as defined the by the International Energy Agency, is a household having reliable and affordable access to both clean cooking facilities and to electricity, which is enough to supply a basic bundles of energy services initially and then an increasing level of electricity over time to reach the regional average. 

Why does the community have this need?:

Rural communities in India this need because they are often far from electricity generation centers. As a result, it is often costly for the government or private companies to reach these areas and provide electricity to them. However, electricity is often necessary to help communities meet their basic needs.

Village on the outskirts of Punjab

Is this need being met? How?:

I conducted a few interviews for my Fulbright research to determine whether this need is being met. Here is the link to access these interviews!

Key insights: (from 8 preliminary interviews) 

  • Power cuts have reduced tremendously across India

  • The next phase of energy access: transition from supplying simple lighting products to household appliances

  • The Northeast and Himalayan region still have large pockets of unelectrified villages

  • Solar reduces cost of electricity for on-grid customers

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