The report comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India had achieved 100 per cent village electrification ahead of the target.
New Delhi: International Energy Agency (IEA), the Paris-based autonomous inter-governmental organisation, has showered praise on India’s mega electrification and clean fuel drive in its latest report.
The agency — in its report detailing the world’s progress on energy targets prepared in collaboration with International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) – noted that the world is on track to meet global energy targets set for 2030 which are part of the sustainable development goals. It lays emphasis on India’s role in improving electricity access and clean cooking fuel.
“Sustained progress and policy commitments in Asia mean that the region is projected to reach a 99 per cent rate of electrification in 2030. This achievement is largely the result of India’s tremendous electrification effort, which sees 250 million people gaining electricity access between now and the early 2020s, when the country reaches full access,” the report said.
The report makes a comprehensive analysis of the world’s progress towards global energy targets on access to electricity, clean cooking, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It notes that global trends towards achieving the goals are disappointing. However, recent national experiences around the world offer encouraging signs.
The report comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India had achieved 100 per cent village electrification ahead of the target. There is mounting evidence that with the right approaches and policies, countries can make substantial progress in clean energy and energy access, and improve the lives of millions of people, according to the report.
The report highlights access to clean cooking fuel in Central Asia and Southern Asia increased by 1 per cent annually during 2014-2016, with India and Pakistan emerging as regional leaders. It said India’s expansion of access to clean cooking by over 1 percentage point annually — reaching 41.3 per cent in 2016 from 39.2 per cent in 2014 — was supported by policies for increasing clean cooking among the poor.
“Particularly noteworthy is India’s targeted subsidization of LPG stoves and refills for women living below the poverty line through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY program). The PMUY program has already provided over 35 million new clean cooking connections to poor households since 2016,” the report said, adding the PMUY push was further complemented by the government’s Give It Up campaign.
Significantly, the report cautions that despite progress across regions, the world is not on track to achieve universal electricity access by 2030, with Sub-Saharan Africa at a great risk of being left behind. The report projects electrification rate of 92 per cent globally by 2030, leaving around 675 million people without access by then.
The IEA also painted a grim picture of progress on the world’s target of universal access to clean cooking fuel by 2030, saying at the current annual rate of progress the world will not be able to meet the targets. It added the annual growth rate needs to increase from 0.5 to 3 percentage points annually for the period between 2016 and 2030. It said, in the absence of such acceleration, 2.3 billion people will remain without access to clean cooking in 2030 globally.