|Energy Options for Urban Household in India (Individual Contributor Chandrakant)|
Energy is an essential element of our everyday life. Energy is required to carry out all sorts of activities in household, industry and agriculture. Nearly 400 million (40 percent of total population) people of India live in urban areas and rely on different energy sources for cooking , water heating and lighting in household.
In India, household consumes 40-45 percent of total energy (sum of traditional and commercial energy). Of total commercial energy such LPG, kerosene, electricity, 15 percent is used in household sector (Rathore, 1993). Two main activities - cooking and heating account for 90 percent of rural and 50 percent of urban household energy consumption.
Two decades ago, most of the households in urban areas were relying on traditional fuels. Since 1980 substitution of traditional fuels by modern fuel such as LPG, kersoene gained momentum (Leach, 1987). However, greater concern for environment has brought many issues with use of fuel. There is now a national thinking and drive going on to conserve known sources such as firewood, agricultural waste, dung, kerosene, oil and to promote the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, bio-energy etc.
This article provides a broad-based understanding of urban household energy sources, their supply, scarcity and other problems associated with access to these fuels in urban areas of India.