When we Universal access to electric power, what we primarily say here is to provide these to the deprived people, who mainly live in rural areas.
Thee are two types of places - Grid connected and Out of Grid.
Grid Connected:- Problem here is mainly shortage of power supply. Which happens in India mainly due to shortage of production and high losses in transmission.
a. Shortage of Production: Given the fact that govt is having trouble allocating coal reserves to new and up coming thermal power plants, I don't feel we can rely good supply of coal for long term ( which anyways we cannot ). Hence I feel small / medium biomass power plants in decentralized set up would be one way to go ahead. The raw material could be primarily the agricultural waste. This would enable the following:
1. Consumption of rural agri waste for minimal amount would add to their income
2. Generate local employment opportunities for local youth
3. Also if we can make policy that the first consumer these decentralized power generated should be the people in the district, then the remaining power to be distributed outside district. This concept can have many adv : less stress on thermal plants, less transmission loss, immediate effect of the plants on lives of people of the surrounding area.
b. High Transmission losses: This is purely technical issues which i feel can be achieved by better technology.
Out of grid places:
Initially, the govt should ensure to tap the power to supply outside area.
To supply in local area this can be done two ways:
1. Power generating to be given incentives and benefit to set up there distribution network in local area as approved by the state electricity boards. OR May they can supply and collect the revenue which can be kept by them. Rates to be decide by electricity board and govt to just collect regular taxes.
2. Electricity boards to set up the network in stipulated time as decided at agreement.
Here we need to ensure adequate supply of biomass for all the power plants to run successfully, hence an initial survey has to conducted to identify the available agri waste and the amount power that can be generated and the give permission only to generate power plant same amount of generating capacity. Else it would result loss in investment.
This is regarding the biomass power plants which can be decentralized at village level. We should aggressively look at various opportunities to utilise waste matter generated in various municipal corporation / industrial areas / colonies etc to help us achieve the objective universal access to electric power.
Thanks and Regards,