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Publication - Rural Electrification in India - Customer Behaviour and Demand

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Title
Rural Electrification in India - Customer Behaviour and Demand
Publisher
The Rockefeller Foundation, Smart Power India & ISEP
Author
Shalu Agrawal, Nidhi Bali & Johannes Urpelainen
Published in
February 2019
Abstract
India is at the cusp of energy transformation, leading the global progress in electricity access. Between 2000 and 2016, half a billion people gained access to electricity in India, increasing the share of grid-electrified households from 43% to 82%. Since then, several new efforts are underway at central and state levels, with the goal of achieving universal household electrification by March 2019.

While enabling access to electricity is a crucial first step, the goal of extending the electric grid to India’s villages has eclipsed the need to provide quality access and service to the rural customers.

Studies have pointed out that demand-side issues appear more significant in explaining the current gaps in electricity access. There is a need to better understand the factors that influence customer attitudes and decisions about electricity adoption and use. Even more important is to assess whether the current levels of electricity access are satisfactory, as many customers with electricity continue to face power outages and poor-quality supply. These are concerns that need to be addressed to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7:

Affordable and Clean Energy to ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all.
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