South Asia

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An Indian woman dries cow dung cakes for use as cooking fuel in Phoolpur village, about 45 kilometers east of Allahabad, India, June 8, 2008.

AP Photo

Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

The Status of Rural Energy Access in India: A Synthesis

| August 2010

India's energy crisis is defined by the fact that the major share of its rural population is energy poor. Energy poverty, indicated by the lack of access to modern energy services, is a direct outcome of income poverty. The poor cannot afford to pay for the services of the modern energy carriers and they live in sub-standard buildings/houses, which are unfit to be connected to the modern energy systems. Similarly, any poor nation will be constrained by inadequate access to both energy and financial resources, and therefore will be unable to build an adequate infrastructure that would facilitate connectivity to modern energy carriers.