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Energy access: Are you being served

A Roadmap for Access to Clean Cooking Energy in India

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September 2018 |

Citation: Patnaik, Sasmita and Tripathi, Saurabh and Jain, Abhishek, A Roadmap for Access to Clean Cooking Energy in India (September 30, 2018). Asian Journal of Public Affairs 11(1): e4; Singapore Management University School of Business Research Paper No. 18-17.

Overview

Over the past three years, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has provided Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) connections to over 54 million households. However, the real challenge to sustain the use of clean cooking energy and transition households away from the use of traditional fuels such as biomass, firewood, agricultural residues remains.

This essay, published in the Asian Journal of Public Affairs, outlines sectoral and fuel-specific strategies that India’s clean cooking energy access roadmap should adopt. These strategies integrate technology and business model development, and focus on improvement of access to credit for both households and enterprises.

To achieve an effective transition to clean cooking energy access, it is imperative to develop a roadmap that adopts a multi-fuel, multi-stakeholder approach, and is guided by principles of equity and inclusivity. A single ministry focused on energy in India could pursue strategies integrating various cooking energy solutions based on a common understanding of consumer needs, and economic and geographic feasibility.

Sectoral strategies

These include interventions focused on:

  • Improving awareness of households on the adverse health impacts of cooking using traditional fuels
  • Assessing the socio-economic and gender aspects of energy access
  • Improving availability of data on the use of cooking energy
  • Monitoring and streamlining of subsidies to focus on subsidies for cooking energy rather than those for a particular fuel

Technology-specific strategies

These focus on three key aspects:

Product or technology development to provide safe and clean solutions that meet consumer needs
This includes investments in energy labelling for LPG stoves to improve efficiency and affordability for end-users, investments in research to reduce the cost of biogas bottling and packaging, investments in R&D to develop and test cookstoves to improve their design, efficiency and adequacy, etc.

Business model development to ensure regular availability of the fuel
This includes piloting enterprise-based models for biogas to ensure better management of the plants, piloting alternative distribution channels for LPG such as self-help groups (SHGs) to improve local availability, promoting pay-as-you-go technology to improve affordability of payments, etc.

Strengthening of the financial ecosystem to enable affordable access for sustained use
This includes providing low-interest loans for enterprises operating in remote areas with low-income groups, sensitising bank professionals about technologies to improve lending to enterprises in order to ease their working capital needs, etc.

To achieve an effective transition to clean cooking energy access, it is imperative to develop a roadmap that adopts a multi-fuel, multi-stakeholder approach, and is guided by principles of equity and inclusivity.

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Clean, Affordable and Sustainable Cooking Energy for IndiaPossibilities and Realities Beyond LPG

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February 2015 |

Citation: Abhishek Jain, Poulami Choudhury and Karthik Ganesan (2015) ‘Clean, Affordable and Sustainable Cooking Energy for India: Possibilities and Realities Beyond LPG’, February.

Overview

Over the last few years, the number of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) connections in the country have increased at an unprecedented rate. However, many households continue to use traditional fuels which contribute to indoor air pollution and drudgery.

With the objective of promoting clean, affordable and sustainable cooking energy for all, this study analyses the potential of the clean cooking energy alternatives going beyond LPG. This is a comparative analysis of various cooking energy options across a range of parameters including economics, fuel supply assurance, technology resilience, cooking convenience, environmental impacts, etc. to provide a holistic and comprehensive view of the state of technology options.

Key Findings

  • In terms of economic viability, biogas and PNG emerged as the most attractive option while LPG and pellet-based cookstoves are among the costliest.
  • Improved cookstoves need significant technological improvements to reduce emissions to safe levels.
  • Traditional biomass has the highest fuel supply assurance, followed by PNG, biogas, LPG and electricity-based solutions.
  • LPG and PNG, along with biogas, score high on parameters of cooking convenience due to their improved heat control, higher heat intensities, accommodation to variety of cooking needs etc. Improved cookstoves are deemed as least convenient among these.
  • Electricity-based cooking is not considered a large-scale cooking energy alternative due to intermittent power supply, competing needs for electricity, reliance on thermal (coal-based) generation and economics.
  • All clean cooking energy technologies are considered better than traditional chulhas, in terms of the global environmental impacts. This is due to avoidance of high emissions of black carbon resulting from incomplete combustion in traditional stoves.

Key Recommendations

  • Devise a unified approach to provide clean, affordable and sustainable cooking energy to all, giving different technologies their fair share of attention (funds) and adequate direction of interventions.
  • Create awareness about the negative impacts of the use of traditional chulhas, in order to generate a bottom-up demand of clean cooking solutions while ensuring their sustained use and a complete transition.
  • Promote PNG in urban areas, beginning with densely populated cities, while developing long-term strategies for sourcing the commodity at competitive prices.
  • Create an enabling environment to support market-based promotion of biogas as a cooking energy solution and eliminating the technology and management-related challenges through innovative approaches.
  • Focus on technology development for improved cookstoves in order to improve emission performance, technology resilience, and cooking convenience.

Unless there is a complete transition to cleaner cooking option, at household-level and community level, the health benefits of clean cooking would not be realised completely.

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Using Solar Technologies to Increase Household Satisfaction with Power Supply

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April 2018 |

Citation: Sean Leong, Johannes Urpelainen and Abhishek Jain (2018) ‘Using Solar Technologies to Increase Household Satisfaction with Power Supply’, April.

Overview

Rural households’ subjective satisfaction with electricity access plays a decisive role in driving demand for off-grid technologies such as solar home systems. This policy brief examines the levels of satisfaction across technologies—grid electricity, solar home systems (SHS), and micro-grids (solar or diesel)—and investigates patterns of subjective satisfaction as they relate to average daily hours of electricity usage across users of different technologies.

The brief uses insights from Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity: Survey of States (ACCESS) survey conducted in 2015, by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) in collaboration with Columbia University and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, in six major energy access-deprived states in India.

Key Findings

  • There is a robust positive association of electricity hours and satisfaction, though off-grid users are less dissatisfied compared to grid users at lower numbers of electricity hours.
  • The relationship between electricity hours and satisfaction is stronger among users of grid electricity and weaker among those who rely on off-grid technology, especially solar home systems. This pattern is due to the fact that in off-grid solutions, electricity, even though for limited hours, is available in the hours when needed the most. This is not the case with grid electricity, despite longer duration of supply.
  • Many rural households may have higher expectations from grid electricity than off-grid solutions. Moreover, users adopting off-grid solutions may have more realistic expectations that account for their lower dissatisfaction despite a lower number of electricity hours.

The graph shows subjective satisfaction levels by high and low hours for grid and off-grid electricity users, with the off-grid category consisting of both SHS and micro-grid users.

Source: CEEW analysis

Our analysis highlights a substantial challenge for governments responsible for grid extension and electricity delivery, especially in terms of improving the duration of supply to improve households’ subjective satisfaction.

Technologies such as solar home systems are valued by rural households where grid electricity is unavailable and unreliable.

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India, the world’s fastest growing major economy, must develop sustainably

Access to Clean Cooking Energy and ElectricitySurvey of States 2018

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November 2018 |

Citation: Abhishek Jain, Saurabh Tripathi, Sunil Mani, Sasmita Patnaik, Tauseef Shahidi, and Karthik Ganesan (2018) ‘Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity: Survey of States 2018’, November.

Overview

The Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity – Survey of States (ACCESS) is India’s largest multidimensional survey on energy access. The largest panel-data on energy access in India, the survey is conducted across six of the major energy-access-deprived states in the country – Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

The 2018 study conducted by CEEW, with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF) and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (National University of Singapore), covered more than 9,000 households from 756 villages in 54 districts collecting about 2.5 million data points.

The results from the first round of the study, ACCESS 2015, highlighted the need to look beyond connections to enable rural India’s access to modern forms of energy. In 2018, we revisited the households to understand the changes in their energy access situation over the last three years, and to study the impact of government policies during this period.

The study analyses energy access for households using a multidimensional, multi-tier framework. Households are assigned tiers on the basis of their level of access to energy. Tier 0 indicates the lowest level of access and Tier 3, the highest.

Key Findings

Distribution of households across electricity access tiers across states

Source: CEEW analysis, 2018

Multidimensional, multi-tier framework to assess electricity access

*NH is the number of high-voltage days in a month causing appliance damage; NL is the number of low-voltage days in a month limiting appliance usage. NOTE: For dimensions where the categories span multiple tiers, only the higher tier values apply. For example, affordability can only be categorised as Tier 1 or Tier 3. The same is the case for legal status.

(Source: CEEW analysis, 2015)

On electricity access:

  • ACCESS 2018 found that around 80 per cent of rural households in six surveyed states depend on grid electricity and solar home systems and/or solar lanterns for their primary lighting needs, up from 44 per cent in 2015.
  • The proportion of rural households categorised as Tier 0 has reduced by 25 percentage points, whereas the proportion of Tier 1 households has increased by 16 percentage points.
  • Daily supply in all six states combined has increased from a median of 12 hours to 16 hours over the last three years. In Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, which have shown the most improvement, the supply duration increased from 8 hours to 15 hours, and from 12 hours to 18 hours, respectively.
  • The proportion of electrified households that expressed satisfaction with their electricity provision has more than doubled—from 26 per cent to 57 per cent—over the last three years.
  • Over 84 per cent of households (increased from 79 per cent in 2015) were in support of the government providing subsidies on solar lanterns.
  • Support for subsidising grid electricity, on asking for only one type of subsidised lighting provision (among grid electricity, solar home systems or lanterns, kerosene, or microgrids) increased from 65 per cent in 2015 to 83 per cent in 2018.
  • Metering of connections, though improved, needs further improvement particularly in the states of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Distribution of households among tiers for cooking energy access across six states

Source: CEEW analysis, 2018

Multidimensional, multi-tier framework to assess cooking energy access

NOTE: For dimensions where the categories span multiple tiers, only the higher tier values apply. For example, households can only be ranked Tier 1 or Tier 3 for the quality and affordability dimensions, or Tier 0, Tier 2, or Tier 3 for the health and safety dimension.

(Source: CEEW analysis, 2015)

On cooking energy:

  • Since 2015, the share of households using LPG in these six states has increased from 22 per cent to 58 per cent, and the share of households using LPG as their primary cooking fuel has increased from 14 to 37 per cent.
  • Its use as the exclusive cooking fuel (eliminating adverse health impacts completely) has also increased from 5 to 19 per cent of rural households.
  • Forty-four per cent of households across the six states are in Tier 0 in 2018, as compared to 78 per cent in 2015.
  • In the six states, of all the rural households that received LPG connections between 2015 and 2018, more than 50 per cent received them under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
  • The cumulative penetration of other non-traditional cooking sources is limited to less than 0.77 per cent of rural households in these six states.
  • The proportion of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) households who reported using LPG in 2015 and in 2018 has increased from 12 per cent to 45 per cent, and from 8 per cent to 32 per cent, respectively, indicating a significant improvement in LPG penetration among marginalised groups.
  • The availability of free-of-cost biomass is an important reason for households to not use LPG for cooking. A significant proportion of households (81 per cent) still continue to rely on such biomass for some, if not all, of their cooking needs.
  • LPG usage is strongly correlated with the number of years for which a household has had a connection—potentially indicating that for new LPG connections, consumption evolves over time until it saturates.
  • Among households that have LPG, more than two-third reported that a male member of the household decides when to order a refill.
  • More than 60 per cent of the respondents prioritised increasing the subsidy on LPG cylinders, as compared to 47 per cent in 2015.

In 2015, when a multidimensional framework to evaluate energy access in India was first used, it shed light on various aspects of energy access that are often overlooked in favour of simplistic measures such as the number of connections deployed. Many households that are connected to grid electricity or have LPG connections are satisfied with their energy access situation, but—despite having access to connections—many are not. The results of this study re-iterate why it is imperative to monitor multidimensional aspects of access to electrcity and cooking energy.

Dataset citation: Mani, Sunil; Shahidi, Tauseef; Patnaik, Sasmita; Jain, Abhishek; Tripathi, Saurabh; Ganesan, Karthik; Aklin, Michaël; Urpelainen, Johannes; Chindarkar, Namrata; Council on Energy, Environment and Water; Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy; National University of Singapore. Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity: Survey of States in India 2018 (ACCESS 2018)’.

Around 80 per cent of rural households depend on grid electricity and solar home systems and/or solar lanterns for their primary lighting needs, up from 44 per cent in 2015.

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Clean Energy Innovations to Boost Rural Incomes

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October 2018 |

Citation: Sanchit Waray, Sasmita Patnaik, and Abhishek Jain (2018) 'Clean Energy Innovations to Boost Rural Incomes', October.

Overview

Ninety-two per cent of the electricity-deprived population of India lives in rural areas. Farm power availability is a third of that of China. More than four million rural micro-enterprises in India mention lack of reliable electricity as a major bottleneck to their business. Clean energy innovations for farm and non-farm micro-enterprises can bridge gaps in the centralised electricity supply system and power income-generating activities in rural areas. This study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, envisions to maximise the role of clean energy as a catalyst for increasing rural incomes.

In an interview with Power4All, Abhishek Jain, Senior Programme Lead, CEEW speaks about boosting rural incomes through innovation in distributed clean energy and the USD 50 billion market opportunity for new livelihood appliances.

Key Highlights

  • Significant market opportunity exists in India’s rural economy for mechanisation through clean energy innovations. For instance, in farm sector, merely three activities – pesticide spraying, rice transplanting, and harvesting of grain crops – have a total market potential of about USD 40 billion.
  • Beyond agriculture, clean energy innovations have a market potential of 13 billion USD, which could transform enterprises engaged in activities such as custom tailoring, food processing, poultry, and livestock rearing among others.
  • We found merely 20 odd livelihood appliances, which can effectively run on decentralised renewable energy (DRE). These include innovations such as solar pumps, solar-powered milking machines, milk chillers, sewing machines, solar charkhas, cold storage, and knapsack sprayer. Their deployment is limited to a few hundreds, in comparison to millions of farmers and rural microenterprises in 600,000 villages of India.
  • Energy efficiency is critical to make DRE-based livelihood applications economically viable. However, existing livelihood appliances prevalent in rural areas are not designed for efficiency, but for unreliable and subsidised/flat-priced electricity.
  • The farm sector market is more difficult to capture than the non-farm due to low utilisation rates of agricultural equipment and the CAPEX-heavy nature of DRE solutions.
  • Reduction in battery costs and development of cost-effective, super-efficient, small-sized motors could significantly improve the economic viability of DRE.
  • The market for smaller livelihood solutions is significantly fragmented and cluster-based, potentially requiring hundreds of small and medium scale enterprises to capture the same.
  • Customer awareness and financing are major barriers to adoption of clean energy solutions for livelihood applications.

Proportion of micro-enterprises reporting electricity access among the top two bottlenecks to their business

Source: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (2017) “Key Indicators of Unincorporated Nonagricultural Enterprises (Excluding Construction) in India, 2015-16.” New Delhi: Government of India.
https://gramener.com/indiamap/

Note:  This map depicts districts with rural micro-enterprises reporting unreliable electricity among the top two bottlenecks to their business. The colors in the legend indicate the proportion of such enterprises in a particular district.

The significant market opportunity is impeded with major gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to support development and deployment of clean energy innovations in livelihoods. Following are the challenges, categorised at each stage of the product’s life cycle.

Key gaps in the innovation ecosystem

Concept to prototype

  • Lack of financial support: Given the high-risk nature of the product development process, there is a dire need for capital grants from philanthropic and public funds.
  • Inadequate physical infrastructure: The pace of intervention is slowed due to limited access to fabrication labs and other such facilities where prototypes could be built and products could be tested.
  • Lack of policy clarity: There is no clarity regarding the role of DRE along with the grid supply leading to business uncertainty for entrepreneurs. This affects the innovation ecosystem and the inflow of financial support for DRE-powered products.
  • Limited cost incentives: Due to subsidised electricity rates in rural areas, the cost incentives for developing energy-efficient productive use appliances are limited. Improving energy efficiency of appliances will be critical to improving the economic viability of DRE-powered products.

Prototype to pilot

  • Lack of adequate knowledge of valuation of technology: The process of technology valuation is not well-developed in government institutions, limiting technology transfer from public research institutions.
  • Limited collaborations: Collaborations between larger businesses and smaller entrepreneurs has remained limited. Such collaborations at the right stage can lead to improvements in the design and efficiency of the product, and thus its commercial viability.
  • Lack of business skills: Innovators may have the technical skills, but many may not be adept at skills such as marketing, strategy, or finance required to get the product off the ground.

Pilot to commercial product

  • Limited access to affordable market research: Access to up-to-date market research information is critical for the development of DRE-powered appliances and machinery, but conducting such market research is an expensive exercise for early stage enterprises.
  • High capital cost of DRE: The high capital cost of DRE is one of the biggest impediments to adoption by customers when compared to low capital cost of diesel-powered equipment.
  • Aligning product designs with customer needs: Product demonstrations and processes to incorporate consumer feedback during the design phase are crucial to improve user acceptance.

Commercial product to large-scale deployment

  • Low-utilisation rates: Given that DRE-powered products require high-capital investments, the utilisation rate of the asset is a key determinant of its economic viability.
  • Low adoption of energy efficient appliances: Energy efficient livelihood appliances, owing to their high prices and low sales volumes, are not prioritised by distributors of durable products.
  • Barriers to accessing loans: Lack of collateral on the part of the end consumer creates impediments to accessing loans, which limits the scale of adoption under a direct-purchase model.
A market opportunity of over USD 50 billion exists for clean energy innovations powering livelihoods in rural India.

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Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity Survey of States

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September 2015 |

Citation: Abhishek Jain, Sudatta Ray, Karthik Ganesan, Michael Aklin, Chao-Yo Cheng, and Johannes Urpelainen (2015) ‘Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity: Survey of States’ CEEW Report, September

Overview

The Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity – Survey of States (ACCESS) is India's largest energy access survey, covering more than 8500 households, 714 villages and 51 districts, across the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The first ACCESS survey was conducted in 2015.

The ACCESS study is the result of an expansive data collection process, lasting over 12 months and resulting in the collection of over 2.5 million data points. It provides a first-of-its-kind multi-dimensional evaluation of the state of energy access in India and highlights the multiple nuances associated with electricity access, such as the duration of supply, quality, reliability, affordability and even the legal status of electricity connections.

Conducted by CEEW in collaboration with Columbia University, with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, ACCESS provides a holistic approach to analyse the deep distress in rural India due to poor electricity access and serves as a handbook for all discussion on this topic. ACCESS has supported policymakers develop region and district-specific solutions, thereby making government programmes for expanding electricity access more effective.

Maintenance work on solar street lighting in Koraput, Odisha (Source: UK Aid)

Key Findings

On Electricity Access

  • Even though 95.5 per cent villages were electrified, only 68.6 per cent of rural households had electricity connections across the six states.
  • Only half the rural households surveyed received electricity for more than 12 hours a day. This was as high as 97.5 per cent for West Bengal and as low as 23.5 per cent for Uttar Pradesh.
  • Proportion of rural households that received four or more hours of evening supply varied from 93 per cent in West Bengal to more than 70 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha to less than 30 per cent in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • Sixty-five per cent of electrified households faced at least one black-out day in a month.
  • Sixty-four per cent of electrified households in Bihar used kerosene as a primary lighting source.
  • For a lifeline consumption of 30 units/month, unmetered households were paying more than metered households.
  • Even a household electricity connection did not guarantee its use as a primary source of lighting; 46 per cent of households having electricity connections had severe issues in terms of supply quality and duration.
  • A significant lag existed between the time a village was first electrified and when the households got electrified. This varied from a median lag of 25 years for a rural household in Odisha to 15 years for households in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to only two years in Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • Nearly a third of the households expressed preference for a micro-grid over regular grid.
  • Nearly 80 per cent rural households expressed a preference for a subsidy on solar lanterns in lieu of subsidy on kerosene.

Electricity access index for six states

Source: CEEW analysis, 2015

On Cooking Energy

  • Despite 22 per cent of rural households having an LPG connection, 95 per cent of rural households across the six states continued to use traditional fuels such as firewood, dung cakes and agricultural waste for cooking, resulting in prolonged exposure to the health hazards posed by indoor air pollution.
  • For nearly six per cent of rural households, amounting to nearly 22 million people, the severe lack of fuel availability adversely impacted the amount of food cooked.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 70 per cent of the households had to buy a part or all of the biomass required for cooking. Across the six states, 56 per cent of the households had to do the same.
  • Median monthly expenditure of households that buy traditional fuels (INR 563) was more than that of households that relied exclusively on LPG (INR 385).
  • Ninety-five per cent of households cited affordability of LPG connections as the main limiting factor to not adopt LPG. Other major barriers were high recurring costs and lack of LPG distribution in rural areas.
  • The median distance that a typical rural household had to travel (one way) to get their LPG cylinder was 6 km. The median distance varied from 3km in West Bengal to 11km in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Of the households having no LPG connection, nearly 40 per cent were unaware about the subscription process. This lack of awareness was more prevalent in Bihar and Odisha.
  • Over one-third of the households were not aware (or did not believe) that using LPG over a traditional chulha could have positive health benefits.
  • Only 11 per cent of the households that used the chulha reported finding it convenient and easy to use.
  • Less than one per cent rural households used improved cookstoves (0.74 per cent) and biogas (0.21 per cent) for cooking.

Clean cooking energy access index across six states

Source: CEEW analysis, 2015

The ACCESS Survey report was launched in New Delhi in September 2015 by the Minister for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal. Delivering the keynote address, he said, “In urban India, we often take electricity for granted without realizing the poor state of electricity access faced by large parts of rural India. Though 96 per cent of villages are electrified, it is crucial to note that this does not equal to electrification of the households. Rural citizens today demand quality electricity to light their homes, use fans, charge mobiles and provide a conducive environment for the education of their children.”

ACCESS found that despite 96 per cent of villages in India being electrified, only two-thirds of rural households have a connection and only half of them receive more than 12 hours of power a day.

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Reforming Kerosene Subsidies in IndiaTowards Better Alternatives

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April 2016 |

Citation: Abhishek Jain, and Aditya Ramji (2016) ‘Reforming Kerosene Subsidies in India: Towards Better Alternatives’, April

Overview

This study explores how to rationalise the kerosene subsidy to improve government effectiveness, as well as provide the maximum benefit to the households spending on the fuel. Kerosene has been continued as a subsidised fuel to provide affordable cooking and lighting to households in India for the last 60 years. However, the kerosene subsidy in its current form is highly inefficient. There is a need to shift to efficient alternatives as high levels of leakage in the distribution of subsidised kerosene mar the subsidy program in its current form.

The analysis, the second of a two-part series conducted with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), found that only 49 per cent of the kerosene under the public distribution system (PDS) actually reaches households at a subsidised price. About 34 per cent of the allocated kerosene never reaches the intended households. According to the Economic Survey of India 2014-15, leakage in kerosene subsidies costs the exchequer USD 1.5 billion.

Petroleum products subsidies in India (including under-recoveries by Oil Marketing Companies)

Source: CEEW analysis, 2016

Key Findings

  • Only 49 per cent of the PDS kerosene actually reaches the households at a subsidised price. About 34 per cent of the allocated subsidised kerosene never reaches intended households.
  • There are many bureaucratic hurdles to getting a legal connection, especially in unauthorised slum areas.
  • Rural households spend INR 50–120 per month to meet their lighting needs from kerosene, with a median expenditure of INR 80.
  • Urban households spend between INR 400–800 per month, with expenditure crossing INR 1,500 per month in some cases.
  • The high upfront cost of an LPG connection limits many households’ ability to get one.
  • It also poses a significant public health burden on the overall economy, as using kerosene for cooking and lighting is hazardous to human health.
  • A transition from subsidised kerosene to alternatives could accrue net savings worth INR 8,000– 12,000 crore per annum for the lifetime of the alternative.

Monthly kerosene expenditure of rural households across states

Source: CEEW analysis, 2016

Key Recommendations

  • Make special provisions to release LPG connections in urban-slums through dedicated LPG distributors for such areas with 2–5 kg cylinder connections only.
  • Subsidise of the cost of connection, or reduce the size of cylinders. To 2-5 kgs.
  • Improve composite material of cylinders.
  • Focus on awareness programmes.
  • Work on challenges related to financing, service reliability, universal coverage, access, safety and cash flow to effectively enable a transition from kerosene to alternative sources.
A transition to alternatives such as grid electricity, solar lanterns, solar home systems, micro grids, and LPG could accrue annual net savings worth INR 8000-12000 crore over the lifetime of the alternative.

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Two years, four (achievable) goals

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