As of 2017, 1.3 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity. Of those, 290 million men, women, and children are in India, unable to power their homes, livelihoods, and their dreams.
Access to energy is a critical first step in powering basic needs such as clean water, securing food, access to health services, and sufficient lighting that enables learning and safety after dark. Just as important, insufficient and unreliable electricity also stands in the way of fulfilling economic potential: without energy, farms cannot produce as much yield, food spoils, small businesses cannot run, and village economies cannot thrive. As you read this right now on your screen, ask yourself: What powers your day?
Since 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation has made “energy poverty” their priority with the launch of a program called Smart Power for Rural Development, a $75 million initiative aimed at bringing reliable electricity to energy-poor villages and hamlets that might otherwise have to wait years for power to arrive. As of 2017, more than half of households in rural India have little to no access to electricity. Here’s how Smart Power plans to empower millions of Indians to seize their economic potential.