Protests against long power cuts seem to have become common. With the temperatures soaring people are finding it difficult to cope with power cuts. Various parts of Uttar Pradesh witnessed violent protests. The state complains of shortage in the power supply. The situation is no better in the national capital.
Will Delhi also witness such violent protests? The Delhi government had promised uninterrupted power supply to the people, however the reality is different. The government is still claiming to have surplus power supply, yet the public doesn't get 24/7 electricity. There is a blame game happening now, the Delhi Chief Minister is pulling up the DISCOMs while the DISCOMs are giving various excuses. No one seems to be interested in taking a step towards a more reliable and permanent solution.
Power cuts go beyond sweltering in heat and experiencing discomfort. For some, it is a matter of life and death. Last week, a man in West Delhi struggled to keep his respiratory system on only because the suburb experiences a minimum of six hour long power cuts everyday. Imagine if this resident of Delhi had access to uninterrupted electricity? What if solar power could rescue Delhiites from their suffering permanently? It is certainly possible, we need to start looking at practical, cost effective and realistic options of fulfilling the energy deficit.
In a surprising move Coal India announced its intentions of venturing into renewable energy stating that "India has an abundance of sunshine and the trend of depletion of fossil fuels is compelling energy planners to examine the feasibility of using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and so on (as per the news report published in a leading daily)."
The case for renewable energy is becoming stronger and it is evident that to deliver quality power at a stable tariff, the government needs to focus on increasing the share of renewable energy in power generation. As I had said earlier, instead of finding faults with renewable energy, we need to innovate and make it feasible. Fossil fuel supply is limited, renewable energy is the only long term solution.
Shashwat Raj is a Media Officer with Greenpeace India. Blog with inputs from Ruhie Kumar.