Electricity for All: Rural electrification – II

It should be possible to achieve 100 percent of rural electrification of 30,000 villages in a decade. Assuming an average of 20KW per village, 600MW of electrical capacity would be required which may cost Rs 2.5 billion or 250 million dollars per year. This is not a big sum and all of it not necessary to come from government coffer. A substantial part of it should come from Discos. For example, India has recently launched a similar programme to provide electricity to 30,000 households by March 2019 under a budget of 2.5 billion dollars. It is a rather ambitious programme in terms of time schedule. Perhaps, more interesting is Bangladesh’s SHS programme under which 4.1 million households have been provided solar electricity, which is 12% of the population. Bangladesh is installing 70,000 SHS systems every month which it wants to increase to 300,000 per month to achieve Access for All target by 2020.

Thus, the challenge is neither technical nor technological or even financial. The challenge is purely willingness and planning and designing of a feasible project and setting the targets to achieve.

Published in Business Recorder, 18th March, 2018