English Free Article | Science Bytes | VOL. 9, ISSUE 57, November-December 2009 |

Report on Energy Injustice: Greenpeace

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International environmental activist group Greenpeace released a report, ‘Still Waiting’ on November 17th 2009, which reveals that despite growth in electricity generation and increasing carbon emissions, India’s rural poor continue to be deprived of electricity. The current electricity production model in India is extremely carbon-intensive, emitting more than two times CO2 per kilowatt-hour than in the European Union. Electricity is responsible for about 58 per cent of India’s CO2 emissions related to energy, states the Report. The Report claims that the government’s Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (Rural Electrification Programme) is failing to meet its objectives. Whether it is large dams, nuclear power plants, or coal-fired thermal power plants, the high social costs are borne by rural India, while the benefits go to the cities. A fossil-fuel based centralised electricity generation plan has huge economic, social and environmental impacts. It is an inequitable and unsustainable path. The report challenges the government’s energy model and recommends a decentralised energy mix as a solution to overcome social injustice and mitigate climate change. The report compares the electricity supply scenarios in rural and urban areas of five States — Orissa, Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. In each State, one tier A city, one tier B city and 3 villages were surveyed. The villages had power supply for less than 12 hours a day, while the cities and towns received 22 to 24 hours of supply.

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