Clean Energy Products: A Path For Attaining Livelihood Security

Educational & Professional | 6 Chapters

Author: Shiv Sankar Das, Debashree D. Behera, Ajit Ku. Pradhan


Clean energy use, economic development of a country and quality of life of citizens are closely linked. Further extent of cleanliness of primary energy and the transformation process followed have significant environmental consequences in the form of global warming. Hence, there is a need to shift to low carbon clean energy in the energy transformation and value system. Such a system calls for availability of right type of clean energy, right pro....


Eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainability are the defining challenges of the recent times. Energy has the answer to both. Increasing access to modern energy is critical to support human and economic development through the direct provision of energy services for basic needs by supporting productive uses and creating jobs. Access to modern energy services such as electricity, natural gas, modern cooking fuel, etc. are necessary for improved health and agricultural productivity (UNDP, 2001).

Today, modern energy in the form of electricity has become an important dimension in country’s economic growth. Electrification helps in achieving a range of development improvements, such as increasing in income, generating employment, achieving better health and education. In recent era, the demand of electricity has risen drastically. India is the world’s third largest producer and third largest consumer of electricity. The total electricity produced in India stood at 175000GWh, out of which 141137GWh was from coal, 23785GWh was from natural gas and 7723 GWh was from oil. The consumption of electricity has risen significantly, from 4182GWh in 1947 to 1196309GWh in 2019. With increase in demand for electricity and its generation from coal has raised concerned of exhausting the reserves of coal, petroleum and other resources. In addition, it causes damage to our environment. Damage to environment is basically caused by Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission. World’s GHG emission from unclean sources of energy stands at 36.83 billion ton (Bt) of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in 2018-19 whereas for India’s GHG emission stands at 2.57 Bt of CO2.

These are not compelling benchmarks in the context of providing modern energy services to all. There is a need to shift from the use of unclean sources of energy to clean sources of energy. Clean energy is defined as that energy source or form which when used does not produce negative externalities. Energy derived from sun, wind, water and waves are termed as clean energy sources as they generate very less amount of greenhouse gas. Further, energy produced from coal, petroleum, etc. are called unclean energy.

India needs to increase its clean energy base for its population as well as create a mandate for the provision to increase the share of clean energy in the overall energy mix. Use of clean energy and generation from it are the way forward for achieving better quality of life.

Any attempt to address the energy needs of people with unreliable electricity, through centralised grid-based power production, with its transmission and distribution issues will only exacerbate the situation. To address the issue, a number of social enterprises are focusing their efforts on last mile delivery of energy solutions. There is an opportunity for under-served population of the country to leapfrog the grid and adopt reliable, decentralised clean energy solutions. In order to support the deployment of such solutions, there is a need for an existence of a supportive ecosystem; an ecosystem with a greater flow of information in order so that the diffusion of clean energy products can take place rapidly in India. Such an ecosystem can promote large-scale replication of clean energy solutions. The broad objective of this book is to develop a framework on how diffusion of clean energy products can take place in rural areas.

Demand for energy is proportional to the economic development of the region or country. In addition to economic development, to reduce the harmful effect of fossil fuels on environment and improve quality of life of people, ensuring availability of reliable clean energy solutions at an affordable price has become essential. However, their use is limited. The reasons for its limited uses could be due to weak institutional arrangements with respect to affordable financing and supply chain issues. People in rural areas face problems related to poor quality of life, low income and energy related problems which are characterised by availability, reliability, affordability, cost, drudgery, pollution, safety and health-related issues. Hence, there is need for a clean energy system that can address these challenges in a sustainable manner. All possible options ranging from upfront purchase of clean energy system to becoming an enabling mechanism for income generation area need to be explored. Livelihoods, powered by sustainable energy, are diverse in nature. It may cover agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors, contextually unique in different topographies. Hence, innovations in technologies, financial products and delivery models need to be developed for economic and quality of life development.

The objective of writing this book is to develop the conceptual framework for diffusion of clean energy products in rural areas of South Odisha. It also focuses on the application of the conceptual framework in the form of case study pertaining to the rural areas of South Odisha. Finally, this book gives the recommendations for diffusion of clean energy products in rural areas.

Odisha was formerly known as Orissa. It is one of the states of Republic of India located in the eastern part of the country and is surrounded by the states of West Bengal to the north-east, Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and Andhra Pradesh to the south. Odisha has a coastline of 486 kilometres along the Bay of Bengal on its east, stretching from Balasore to Ganjam district. Odisha is the ninth largest state of the country by its area and eleventh largest by its population. Odisha is the third most populous state of India in terms of tribal population. Tribal population of Odisha stands at 95 lakhs as per census, 2011 out of which 89 lakh, about 93 percent live in rural areas. The total population of schedule caste and schedule tribe (ST and SC) is 40 percent of total population of Odisha, with ST and SC population of 22.8 percent and 17.1 percent respectively.

South Odisha with a population of more than 15 million is one of the poorest development indicators in the country. Clean energy access is one key issue that has been bothering state, market, civil society and the people in the region. To support them in the policy development and implementation strategy the study has been taken up in the rural areas of South Odisha. In this book product scope includes two clean energy products, that is cycle mounted solar operated irrigation system and solar-based lighting system. These products were taken purposefully because of their role in improving quality of life. Other clean energy products such as LPG, biomass, etc. have not been considered.

An action research method of partial intervention in the ecosystem for applicability of the framework has been undertaken. Key informant interview and FGD was held to find out the different factors that helped in diffusion of clean energy products in rural areas of South Odisha.

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This chapter discusses existing literature on technology, quality of life, diffusion of technology and factors affecting diffusion of technology. This chapter has three sections. Section 2.1 highlights on technology, quality of life and its linkage. Section 2.2 focuses on technology and livelihood security and the last section 2.3 focuses on factors affecting diffusion of technology.

2.1 Technology and Quality of Life

Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes and the machinery developed from this, for example in designing new machines, adopting new advances in medical technology, etc. It has the potential to bring changes by satisfying the survival needs and enhancing competitiveness of an organisation. Technology has become all pervasive with its diffusion into our lives in all dimensions. Let us first understand what technology means.

The concept of technology has been distinctly proposed by different researchers. Technology provides information about the design of the product, its characteristics, properties and performance of the product. It is embedded during the production process and operations for manufacturing any product. It has influenced research results, negotiation process, transfer and government policies in general. Technology consists of two components; the physical component and infrastructural component. A physical component basically consists of design, equipment, techniques to run a machine, production process and end products, while the infrastructural component consists of supporting activities such as availability of skilled labour force for production to take place, quality aspects of the product, reliability of the product, marketing and services of the product and other functional areas.

Technology is a summation of artifacts and physical things. Artifacts are basically the objects made by human beings as a mean to achieve the practical work done and physical things include the process of making the objects and assigning meaning to these objects. Technology also dealt with practical and the theoretical knowledge, embedded with skills, that can be used to produce goods, services and having an effective delivery system.

Similarly, some of the researchers emphasised that, technology is associated with the use of information and knowledge in designing, developing and manufacturing the product. Technology is a rework and replication of any application. It is present in materials, machines, tools, facilities and even people associated with it. It is the arrangement of specific process and products which basically consist of two components that is knowledge and way of doing things. Technology is involved in our day to day lives, it is associated with our life by solving problems, generating outcomes, fulfilling any kind of job by using certain skills, knowledge and assets.

Technology consists of two units that is physical unit and software unit. The physical unit generally consists of the equipment which is the instrument or tool that incorporates the technology within as the physical object, while the software unit, consists of the information which makes this equipment run. For example, an integrated circuit of solar operated light with semi-conductors, transistors, electrical connections and the frame which protects it, forms the equipment as a whole and the commands, algorithms and instructions, forms its information. Indicating a synthesised definition from the study in the context under consideration, technology needs to focus on enhancing the quality of life for people in rural areas.

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Educational & Professional | 6 Chapters

Author: Shiv Sankar Das, Debashree D. Behera, Ajit Ku. Pradhan

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Clean Energy Products: A Path for Attaining Livelihood Security

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