New Delhi: The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) on Friday said it will distribute devices like solar cookers and lamps in rural and tribal areas, to provide clean cooking and lighting benefits to the population.
“To provide clean cooking and lighting benefits to rural and tribal population living in forest fringes and protected areas, the MNRE has taken up the programme for intensive distribution of renewable energy devices,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Under the programme devices like unnat chulhas, solar cookers, solar lamps, solar home lighting systems etc. will be distributed by using the funds of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA),” it said.
The scheme has been brought under the definition of forest protection and conservation measures and management of notified forest or protected areas, it added.
The MNRE said the states and union territories have been asked to indicate their renewable energy devices distribution targets for next five years to the union ministry.
The world must think more holistically about how it addresses renewable energy as efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions but at the expense of increased inequality, warn researchers.
The team from Portland State University (PSU) and Vanderbilt University found in a study of 175 nations from 1990 to 2014 that renewable energy consumption reduces carbon emissions more effectively when it occurs in a context of increasing inequality.
Conversely, it reduces emissions to a lesser degree when occurring in a context of decreasing inequality. “People who are just making ends meet and can barely afford their energy bills will make a choice between food and their energy,” said Julius McGee, assistant professor of sociology in PSU.
“We don’t think of energy as a human right when it actually is. The things that consume the most energy in your household — heating, cooling, refrigeration — are the things you absolutely need,” McGee added.
The findings, published in the journal Energy Research & Social Science, support previous claims by researchers who argue that renewable energy consumption may be indirectly driving energy poverty.
“Energy poverty” is when a household has no or inadequate access to energy services such as heating, cooling, lighting, and use of appliances due to a combination of factors: low income, increasing utility rates, and inefficient buildings and appliances.
In poorer nations, renewable sources of electricity have been used to alleviate “energy poverty”. In rural areas in southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, a solar farm can give an agrarian community access to electricity that historically never had access to energy.
“That’s not having any impact on carbon dioxide emissions because those rural communities never used fossil fuels in the first place,” McGee said. Policymakers consider implementing policy tools that are aimed at both reducing inequality and reducing emissions.
“We need to be focusing on addressing concerns around housing and energy poverty before we actually think about addressing climate change within the confines of a consumer sovereignty model,” stressed McGee. (IANS)