Electricity in India can be a dicey proposition. Half the population lacks access or is too poor to afford it.
As chaotic as things are, there is a solution: simple energy efficiency measures, according to a new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), can eliminate the electricity deficit as early as 2013. What’s more, doing so will add $505 billion to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) between 2009 and 2017 (compared to India’s total GDP of $911 billion in 2007-2008), as businesses that have had to cut back due to electricity shortages can restore production.
“None of these measures are retrofits; they are all new sales of items such as light bulbs and refrigerators. We tried to keep it as simple as we possibly could—no buildings, no transport,” said report co-author Jayant Sathaye, a Berkeley Lab senior scientist who leads the International Energy Studies Group in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. “Air conditioners alone are growing at 25% per year in India. But because of this rapid growth, you can capture the new sales, sell only efficient products and make a difference.”