Kerosene to light your world??
- 1 Article
In India, three hundred million people, about a fourth of the total population, live without access to sufficient electricity. Over one hundred thousand villages are yet to be electrified, and even the so-called electrified villages, have up to ten hours of power cuts or more every day. Villagers are forced to resort to other, cruder forms of power to light their homes after dark such as kerosene lamps. The government produces 12 billion liters of kerosene annually; however 5 billion liters end up in the black market where it is used to adulterate petrol and diesel, leaving only 7 billion liters left for its actual use. Kerosene is sold at a subsidized rate of Rs.12.50 per liter in ration shops, and each family below the poverty line is eligible to purchase 6 liters at this rate.
Even though the reduced prices may encourage many families to adopt the use of kerosene, it is ultimately very inefficient. The amount of energy used is completely unreasonable considering the very little output of light. (In comparison, an incandescent light bulb, which many countries want to ban due to its enormous negative impact on the environment, is 50 times better than a kerosene lamp!) The use of kerosene as a fuel also has many adverse effects on the health of people and the environment, such as causing respiratory problems and contributing to global warming by releasing 17.5 MMT of CO2, which accounts for 2% of the national carbon emissions. It poses as a threat to the well-being of people’s lives and livelihoods as it is highly flammable and can burn down homes, forests, and farms.
A sustainable solution to this widespread issue is to switch to small-scale clean, renewable sources for energy. This can be done by taking advantage of local resources such as high wind speeds, an abundance of sunlight, or farm waste to harness energy, making the villages self-sufficient and reduce the dependency on the government.