Renewable energy for rural communities in Maharashtra, India
The desire for universal access to modern energy and the use of renewable energy technologies (RETs) as a means of delivering low carbon solutions are driven by several local and global factors, including climate change, population increase and future energy security. Social attitudes are a major challenge to overcome in order to successfully introduce low carbon technologies as a sustainable alternative to more traditional means of energy provision. It becomes a challenge to educate the target population in order to counteract any negative preconceptions or scepticisms in using these technologies which can have adverse effect upon their viability and long term success. This work presents the results of a rural energy survey conducted in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The survey highlights the opportunities and attitudes of these rural communities towards sustainable modern energy services and the technologies used to deliver them. Results from the survey show that there is interest in using sustainable or renewable technologies for energy provision and suggest that cost, reliability and ease of use are more important factors than the environmental benefits. A suggestion for a way to improve RET adoption in rural communities is also presented based on the results of this study.
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