Contours of Inequality : What census 2011 tells about India's energy poverty
Access to energy is an important determinant of quality of life. Inequality of access to energy for cooking, lighting and livelihood purposes has engaged the attention of researchers, policy planners and activists in recent years. In 2005, India launched the ambitious Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana that aimed at universal access to electricity by 2009. Similarly, efforts towards universal access to modern cooking energy were initiated by creating a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution network and deploying renewable energy-based cooking energy solutions. Internationally too, in April 2011, the UN General Assembly declared 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Increased realisation of the futility of business-as-usual approach—expanding conventional energy infrastructure, particularly power—has led to a serious search for alternatives. Renewable energy solutions provide one such promising alternative.