Energy Crisis

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An energy crisis is any great bottleneck (or price rise) in the supply of energy resources to an economy. In popular literature though, it often refers to one of the energy sources used at a certain time and place. Energy runs machinery in factories, lights our cities and powers our vehicles. There has been an enormous increase in the demand for energy as a result of industrial development and population growth.

India is in a severe energy crisis that will continue to increase in severity. Coal accounts for over 70% of India’s energy production, but it is a limited resource that also hurts the environment. Even if more coal was mined, people are still using more energy than can be produced. Because of the lack of energy resources, some Indian households go without electricity for several days. This can be a severe problem during the summer when temperatures reach over 100 degrees in southern and western India. Energy demands in the future will continue to increase as India’s population (over one billion) continues to grow.

The lack of energy resources is an even larger problem in rural areas. Although India has emerged as a global leader in software and business services, the majority of Indians still live a rural agricultural life. Nearly 75% of the rural population of India still depends on bio-fuels (firewood, agricultural residues, and dung). The available fuel is only about 1/3 of what is needed. Indian villagers are forced to spend from two to six hours per day gathering fuel for their household cooking fires. India’s reliance on firewood has led to deforestation and pollution. Every day, at 4pm, the majority of the people in India light their cooking fires for dinner, using fuels like dung and firewood. By 6 pm the smoke and haze has filled the air and it is difficult to see even a few feet. As a result, some people even wear masks to try to protect themselves from the polluted air.

Over 400 million people in India live below the poverty line. They...
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