Supply and Demand – India

India as a nation takes up 2.4% of the world’s land and 16% of its population, and all those people use energy. With all those people, India is experiencing dramatic environmental degradation due to the large amount of pressure placed on the land and resources. There have been some efforts made to try and aid India out of its rapidly declining state of sustainability.

The countries services are barely able to keep up with the rising demands for various types of energy service. Electricity usage increased sixteen times between 1951 and 1980, and since then has almost quadrupled. While the main source of energy in India is still coal, the country also uses hydro, solar, wind, and nuclear energy in an attempt to meet its growing demand for energy. Most of the electricity is generated by coal plants, and the rest is from hydroelectric plants. There have even been a few nuclear plants installed in India to supply a tiny bit of electricity to the country.

There have been frequent power outages during peak demand hours because the local services get overpowered. More than half of all the electricity is used for industrial purposes. The next major electricity consumer in India is the agricultural business, and closely following, growing quickly, are rural villages, which are now tied into varying distribution grids.

While coal is a prominent resource that India mines and exports what little it can spare, there are in fact other resources that the country has.India has experience deforestation, contamination, and soil depletion to name just the major strains that have been placed upon the land and environment.

One of the places in India that was experiencing the worst environmental issues is Rajasthan. The people there were experiencing agricultural productivity problems as well as a shortage of reliable water to drink. Through non-governmental organizations though, rain water tanks have been built so that the people there may better rely upon their land and natural resources for life.

Streets are filled with trash in New Delhi

New Delhi is another place in India that is experiencing a lot of issues with limited resources. The Ganges River was a sacred and reliable source of water but the increase in population and urbanization has left it almost worthless. Garbage lies in heaps on the streets because no one cleans it up. India of course feels extremely guilty for its pollution and inability to meet its nations energy needs and so has made steps towards cleaning itself up like moving towards more renewable energy sources and away from energy sources such as nuclear and coal. Is it possible that countries that are more able to transition to renewable energy sources could do so and in turn give their fossil fuels to countries like India? What if there were a more fair distribution of energy throughout the world? In the US we use 20% of the worlds total energy, why do we need that much? If we helped fix India’s energy problem, would all of the other environmental issues slowly fix themselves?


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