Power hungry Bihar
CHOWKIPUR, INDIA, - SEPTEMBER 18: Boys study by lantern light in a house in Chowkipur India on September 18, 2015. Chowkipur is a village 60 KM from Patna that has no electricity.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AND COPYRIGHT OF SIMON DE TREY-WHITE, + 91 98103 99809,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, a photographer in delhi
Of the world’s 1.3 billion people who live without access to power, a quarter — about 300 million — live in rural India in states such as Bihar. India, the third-largest emitter of greenhouses gases after China and the United States, has taken steps to address climate change in advance of the global talks in Paris in 2015 — pledging a steep increase in renewable energy by 2030. But India’s leaders say that the huge challenge of extending electric service to its citizens means that the country must continue to increase its fossil fuel consumption, at least in the near term, on a path that could mean a threefold increase in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030, according to some estimates. Energy access is worse in rural areas. Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, has a population of 103 million, nearly a third the size of the United States. Fewer have electricity as the primary source of lighting there than in any other place in India, just over 16 percent, according to 2011 census data. Families still light their homes with kerosene lamps and cook on clay stoves with cow-dung patties or kindling. In Bihar, 30 percent of power is lost to transmission and distribution as well as theft.