India's Current and Future Challenges in meeting Electricity Demand
The reading below presents an interview produced by the National Bureau of Asian Research for the U.S. Senate India Caucus.
The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution founded more than 20 years ago by a private endowment. NBR's mission is to "conduct advanced independent research on strategic, political, economic, globalization, health, and energy issues affecting U.S. relations with Asia. Drawing upon an extensive network of the world’s leading specialists and leveraging the latest technology, NBR bridges the academic, business, and policy arenas."
NBR disseminates its research through briefings, publications, conferences, Congressional testimony, and email forums, and by collaborating with leading institutions worldwide. NBR also provides exceptional internship opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students for the purposes of attracting and training the next generation of Asia specialists." You'll also find NBR on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The U.S Senate defines caucus thus: "From the Algonquian Indian language, a caucus meant 'to meet together.' An informal organization of Members of the House or the Senate, or both, that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses." The Senate India Caucus is a 38-member bipartisan group created in 2004, which serves as a forum to discuss bilateral issues, strengthen US-India commercial ties, and advocate on behalf of the Indian-American community.
To Read Now
Visit the National Bureau of Asian Research and read an article written by Tom Cutler (with Clara Gillespie) entitled "How the United States, India, and China Can Lead the Way."
Cookstoves and International Development
According to the World Health Organization, "an estimated 700 million people in India still rely on solid fuels and traditional cook stoves for domestic cooking." Almost all of them use the traditional cook stove called a "chulha." There are different styles of chulhas in use in India, but the traditional models all share the characteristic of using an open fire without a chimney indoors. As you can imagine, having an open fire inside of a home can (and does) present problems for occupant health! Please watch the first 3:30 of the video below for an idea of how chulhas are used. You are of course welcome to watch the whole (12:49) video, but that is optional.
To View Now
Let's take a look at an example of how international development aid can be used to address the problem of unhealthy indoor air in India.
- Go to Carbon Neutral at www.carbonneutral.com. Feel free to browse around.
- Click "Projects" at the top of the page.
- Find the project in Southern India called "India Improved Cookstoves."
- View the project summary page. Download the Fact Sheet and read through it.
Advances in Off-Grid Development
As indicated by the IEA and Tom Cutler above, lack of access to electricity is a major issue in India, particularly in rural areas. But as you'll see in the video below, energy security requires more than simply having electric service is not always enough. Please watch the (6:00) video below for an eye-opening look at what many Indian residents must deal with. This is a video by The Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, a non-profit in Southeast Asia. In 2015 they released a report called Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity: Survey of States, which is based on a recent survey of six Indian States with the intent of determining the (lack of) access to - you guessed it - clean cooking energy and electricity. You are welcome to read the report, but it is not required.
To Visit Now
India by-and-large has good solar resources, which can help alleviate some of the energy access issues. Visit and explore d.light, you'll use this for your assignment. Besides having the best name EVER, this company's leadership was named Social Entrepreneurs of the year 2014!
To Read Now
From the IEEE Spectrum, read "Innovative Direct-Current Microgrids to Solve India's Power Woes."