In this modern age of rapidly advancing technology and increased standards of living, it is difficult for the global north to fathom a life without electricity. The truth is that as of 2010, 20% of the world's population goes on about their daily activities with no access to secure forms electricity. This statistic is most disturbing not only because of the amount of electricity taken for granted and wasted on a daily basis, but because access to secure electricity has become associated as a basic human right. This right has been recognized by intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, as well as non-governmental organizations and several independent nations. Access to electricity has a direct correlation to clean water, safe cooking, heating and lighting conditions, and a cleaner over all environment for existing. Given this information, it is not surprising that there is a direct link between poverty and access to sustainable energy, especially in rural parts of Asia.
There have been pledges made in recent years among nations in the global south to bring 100% electrification to their countries, though these efforts have taken much longer than their original projections. India is a prime example of an aggressively industrializing country with 35% of its population still 'in the dark', despite a pledge from its leaders to 'provide all rural households access to electricity' by 2009. Many ambitious projects to bring electrification to rural villages in India have come about in the past decade, both formed by the government as well as grassroots projects. These projects have resulted in many successful implementations of electrification to rural villages, thus creating powerful socioeconomic changes for the people who live there.
This paper is a precursor to a larger, in depth analysis of some of the projects to bring electrification to rural villages in India to highlight the assortment of positive socioeconomic impacts they have produced for these communities. Within this analysis, the paper will underline several key areas of improvement.
It will begin by examining the evolutions that these rural villages of India have experienced in their basic infrastructure and the way these programs have changed their patterns of energy consumption. Rural villages are highly dependent on the use of raw biomass materials, such as firewood, to create the greater portion of their basic energy. As a result of this, rural areas utilize a larger portion of energy per capita than their urban and metro counterparts. This is because the burning of raw biomass material is a far less efficient energy source than that of electricity. Studies have shown a strong correlation between lower energy consumption per capita and a higher ranking on the Human Development Index.
Through this transition to a cleaner, less labor intense procurement of energy, the people of these villages have experienced a reduction in...