From creating jobs to increasing economic competitiveness, and empowering women, energy powers human progress and economic development. In mid-2011, the Rockefeller Foundation launched the SPEED initiative in India to address the basic needs of vulnerable people who lack access to electricity and spur economic development for the rural poor.
Why India? Rural electrification is a pressing problem. More than 290 million people do not have access to the energy needed for lighting, especially for those living outside major cities. Without electricity, poor communities are limited in their ability to enhance their income, improve food security, educate their children, and maintain good health. A lack of electricity also contributes to social unrest and inequity by often burdening women with physically taxing activities and reducing the safety of communities at night.
Today, there are large areas of the country particularly in the east where less than half the population lacks access to electricity, and hours of electricity available from the main grid are below the national average. States with low access to electricity also have the highest rate of overall poverty.
Here is the current situation: