The correlation between strong energy infrastructure and a prosperous, healthy society is well-established. Over more than 20 years, studies have demonstrated that energy or electricity consumption rates correlate with quality-of-life metrics such as life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and literacy rate, in much the same way as other development metrics such as GDP and HDI. Given the importance of energy to quality and security of life, it is indeed a grave situation that the energy demand in India – including in Maharashtra and in Pune – has been rapidly outpacing supply, and this energy deficit is only projected to widen in the coming years. Rising fuel prices will not help the situation. This is already being reflected in rising energy prices.
At the same time, Pune (and, more generally, India) is both highly vulnerable to and an increasingly important contributor to climate change. The effects of climate change on urban infrastructure and urban life are widely discussed and, in general, extremely worrying.
In this context, Janwani is working to establish models of energy generation and distribution that would provide affordable, dependable, low-carbon energy to citizens. Janwani pursues models such as community solar, which aim to promote distributed generation of renewable energy. In the process, they also remove the image of the power sector as a heavyweight, centralized monolith. Through such models, Janwani aims to make community members stakeholders, setting the scene for collective, participatory stewardship of our city’s energy future.