Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2018 launched in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: A latest report in Poor People’s Energy Outlook (PPEO) series produced by Practical Action was launched in Odisha, India at Hotel Sandy’s Tower, Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

The global report, which was launched in the presence of Honb’le Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Energy, Industries, MSME and Home Capt. Dibya Shankar Mishra, along with energy sector experts from both Odisha and also Practical Action, said the world is not yet on track to achieve universal energy access by 2030 as enshrined in United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG7) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It claims that despite widespread acceptance of the great wellbeing and development benefits of it, a lack of understanding about the best methods for delivering electricity and clean cooking at scale remains a risk, leaving many of the most marginalised groups that are particularly vulnerable to energy poverty further behind. The situation of energy in terms of access and inclusivity at scale is also very concerning. Business, as usual, has let the most marginalised down and left out, so business, as usual, must change – and quickly.

Unveiling the report, the Dr.Pawan Kumar Agrawal, Vice-Chancellor of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), Bhubaneswar shared about the importance of cultivating human perspective into planning rather than just structural perspective to it. The programme saw a notable discourse on Practical Action’s way of work that envisions harnessing the potential of energy to transform people’s lives.

The recommendations of the report which are much relevant and contextual for Odisha and India were further discussed by the guests during the launch.

“Striking a balance between achieving energy access at scale and reaching the ‘last mile’ must be ardently pursued if we are to achieve our global goals on the tight 2030 timeline. The PPEO 2018 explores this important balance that requires planning and delivery models that integrate grid, off-grid and clean cooking solutions,” said Dr. Birupakshya Dixit, Program Coordinator- India Programs, Practical Action, opening the launch ceremony. 

“The findings of the report suggest that tackling the key aspects of inclusivity head-on is critical to truly leaving no one behind, programmes must be designed with components that address the barriers to achieving SDG7,” added Dr. Dixit. “Through sharing the PPEO Report 2018, we want to reach policy-makers and stakeholders to refer to the findings of the report, which would help them in better planning for inclusive energy access at scale.”

Dr. Ambika Prasad Nanda, Head CSR (Odisha), Tata Steel briefed the gathering about how the world suffers from inequality because we care only for what we see or feel. The only solution to eradicate poverty is not through prosperity but justice, which can only be achieved through access to energy. Energy is directly linked to the quality of life.

Meanwhile Mr.Pyarimohan Mishra, Chief Engineer, Office of EIC, Government of Odisha said, “Sustainability, reliability and performance are key factors in energy, which are being monitored. Technology can help a great deal. When technology improves, energy will become more efficient.”

Ms. Pooja Sharma, Thematic Lead, Energy, Practical Action South Asia in her presentation maintained that Practical Action is concerned about delivering inclusive energy access at scale. Program metrics should reflect not just the number of connections but aspects of remoteness, poverty and gender.

Mr. Achyut Luitel, Regional Director, Practical Action South Asia in his address to the audience also said that Practical Action has been releasing the PPEO annually, since 2010. It is based on research done in the countries facing energy poverty. Practical Action believes that Energy should transform the lives of poor people, so it has taken account of minimum energy requirement and Total Energy Access as the bottom lines for people. Beyond the lighting, energy has the power in transforming society if its productive end-use, together with heating and cooling is taken into account.

Mr. Sanjit Kumar Behera, Consultant Energy and Director, Practical Action Foundation India moderated the launch event for the evening.

The Poor People’s Energy Outlook was first launched in 2010 to shine a light on energy access from perspectives of the poor. The series challenges energy sector’s focus on energy resources, supply and large scale infrastructure projects; emphasising instead that it is energy services which matter most to poor people, and that decentralised approaches are the best way to achieve universal energy access. This year’s edition explores delivery at scale from a bottom-up perspective, developing metrics to assess inclusion, scale, and the context for progress. It analyses six-core case studies from diverse contexts across the energy access sector, which focus on striking a balance between the race for scale and the need to reach ‘last mile’ communities. The PPEO 2018 Full Report can be found at http://policy.practicalaction.org/ppeo2018. The report was produced by Practical Action with the support of the UK Department of International Development.

About Practical Action

Practical Action is a global change-making group. It consists of a UK registered charity with community projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, an independent publishing company and a technical consulting service. It combines these specialisms to multiply its impact and help shape a world that works better for everyone.

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