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growth and a rising population, the drive to ensure 24x7 accesses to reliable electricity supply and achieve universal energy access, and the rise in appliance and vehicle ownership. Urbanisation is also a major underlying factor: an additional 315 million people – almost the population of the United States today – are expected to live in India’s cities by 2040, accelerating the demand for modern fuels. Industrial energy use is pushed by the need for all the steel, cement, bricks and other products required to develop India’s infrastructure and by the ‘Make in India’ campaign to promote domestic manufacturing. In the transport sector, more and more Indians buy their own vehicles and more freight needs to be moved by road and rail. As a result, even with gradual improvements in efficiency, India’s total energy demand is projected to more than double over the next two-and-a-half decades. ENERGETICA INDIA: Will India be able to provide access to power for rural area? Please explain how this will happen? TIM GOULD: India has made significant progress in improving access to power, halving the number without electricity since 2000. But everyone is aware that more needs to be done, both to provide all households with a source of electricity and to improve the quality and reliability of service elsewhere. Demand for electricity is rising fast and, if you also take population growth into account, we estimate that India needs to provide for almost 600 million new electricity consumers over the period to 2040. This is a huge investment challenge. Part of the solution in rural areas will come, in our view, from extending the reach of the centralised grid, particularly for those living close to existing or planned transmission lines. But mini-grid and off-grid technologies, often powered in full or in part by renewables energy technologies, are also set to play a critically important role, especially in more remote areas with lower population density. All of this will require coordinated and targeted support from governments, innovative private business models, as well as an expansion of existing communitybased projects INTERVIEW energetica INDIA · JAN | FEB16 31


energetica-india-55
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