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Impacts and Challenges of Increased Consumption of Electricity

In Business
April 29, 2023
Electricity Consumption

Electricity has been the lifeline of people over time. Now, due to technological advancement, most of the operations are done by electronic appliances whether at home or at the workplace.  It played an important role in changing people’s lifestyles.  

So, the unavailability of electricity for some time disrupts all the usual things. A few years back, the scenario was different. Electricity was used just for a few things and most of the work was done manually. Electrical appliances are useful to do work more efficiently and effectively. 

Now it is one of the main concerns for the government of each state to purchase a sufficient amount of electricity to fulfill the requirement of their own state. 

In India, electricity was first introduced in Kolkata in 1879 as the first electric bulb was lit there. 

Now, In most of the houses, an electrical connection has been reached. 

Leising was the last village without an electricity connection. On April 29, 2018, PM Modi announced that  100 percent electrification has been done.

More usage of electronic devices makes us rely more on electricity. Technological advancement has become the cause of increasing demand for electricity. 

These are the factors that make it challenging to fulfill the electricity need of India

  • Increasing population – The population is increasing rapidly in India which causes an increase in the usage of electricity appliances so it eventually increases the demand for electricity.  So it becomes a challenge for the government to increase the production capacity of electricity to meet the requirement of this massive population of India.
  • Old power station – Many power stations where electricity is produced in 

 India has become old and is using old technology. The quantity of electricity in such power stations is not produced in sufficient quantities. It’s high time to upgrade these old power stations.

  • Climate factor – In summer, the consumption of electricity is increased compared to other seasons. In the harsh summer, there are usually more power cuts in most areas of India. It becomes a challenge to reserve electricity in other seasons for a smooth flow of electricity in the summer. 
  • Technology advancement – Most of the technologies used at this time are anyhow dependent on electricity which increases the usage of electricity. In factories and production houses, all the work can be disrupted by insufficient flow of electricity. So the smooth flow of sufficient amounts of electricity is a challenge for the government.

Few electrical appliances helped to change the overall lifestyle of Indians

  • Cooking appliance – A few years back, in most of Indian households, cooking was done by burning coal, wood and  LPG. Now it is being replaced gradually by electronic cooking appliances like cooking induction, Microwave ovens, and Air Fryers. These appliances are reducing the dependency on fossil fuels for cooking.
  • Grass-cutting machine – Earlier, grass for cattle was cut by a cutter manually. But then in India, a grass-cutting machine was introduced which makes the life of farmers easier.
  • Water pumping motors – Before the availability of electricity in India, the water was extracted from wells by using some traditional techniques and by handpumps.   Now there are motors which are used to pump underground water. These kinds of motors are used in households for daily use purposes, for irrigation and for construction sites also.
  • Electric cultivators – Farmers use them to cultivate the land. It saves a lot of time and effort. This type of technology makes farmers motivated to continue farming.
  • Grinding methods – Earlier, people used to grind the flour daily on chakki on a daily basis. But the introduction of electric chakki made it so easy for people to grind the grain in large amounts at a time.
  • Weighing machine – Vendors used to weigh the thing with the weighing machine on which the balance was made between the iron weight and bought stuff. It took a lot of time. Now the weighing machines are automated and tell the weight in seconds.

See, there are always two sides to everything- negative and positive. No doubt, electricity makes our life easier but there are a few side effects also which are

  • Health issue – Indians are becoming obese. One of the reasons is that there are electrical appliances to work which reduces the efforts done manually. The excessive rise in no. of heart disease is also because of less physical workout. Earlier, people used to grind the flour daily on chakki, used to wash clothes by hand which was the reason for burning the calories. Living in AC all the time causes many kinds of diseases. 
  • Quality compromise – Sometimes to make the work easier, people are ready to compromise with quality. The food used to cook on traditional Chula helped to maintain the quality of food. A hairdryer makes hair frizzy and rough, but people still use it. There are many examples of usage of electrical appliances where the compromise with quality is done.
  • Lost essence of rich Indian culture – In Indian culture, there is a specific way to harvest the crop, cook food, bathe, grind, chop, and many other things. Now these all are being replaced by electrical appliances. So there are very few areas of villages where old practices can be seen. 
  • More abandoned cattle – Earlier, Oxen were used to cultivate the fields, to extract the underground water for irrigation. Now, there is electricity which replaced old methods of doing things. This replacement made oxen useless. Now farmers abandon the male cow after birth. It is very inhumane to see oxen on the road in search of food.
  • Global warming –  In the production of electricity, various fossil fuels like coal and oil are burned which releases large amounts of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide which cause global warming. Air conditioners consume large amounts of electricity and the fluorocarbon they use to refrigerant causes the depletion of the ozone layer. 
  • Excessive use of water – The average person uses 101.5 gallons of water per day. Earlier the situation was different because more physical efforts were needed to make water available for household chores and other usage. Now due to automation, it’s a matter of on and off the switches. It leads to excessive wastage of water.

How is the government dealing with the high demand for electricity?

  • By Awareness campaign – The Government runs various campaigns of saving electricity. A few years back, Many ads were used to run on TV related to saving electricity. Yellow bulbs are completely replaced with Led white light. This is one of the revolutions toward saving electricity.
  • By Encouraging energy efficient appliances – Now Production companies make products which consume less electricity to operate. There are few appliances which come with no. of stars on it- more stars denote more efficient use of electricity. 
  • By Investing in renewable energy – The Government is investing in encouraging the production of renewable energy sources such as solar, hydropower, and wind energy. Companies get subsidies for those who use such kinds of energy for their requirements. The production of electricity through these sources reduces the reliance on fossil fuels and water which are used to make electricity.
  • By Implementing time-of-use pricing – Every household and commercial unit has a meter that records the unit consumed by that specific property. The bill is charged on the basis of no. of units. There are different rates of commercial and household electricity units.  People are aware that if they consume more electricity, they will have to pay more so they try to save electricity as much as they can. 
  • By supporting energy storage – To manage fluctuation in supply and demand, governments are supporting the development and deployment of energy storage technologies such as batteries. 

The final words

Electricity is produced by using natural resources and the natural resources are limited. People must understand how they can use electricity without harming nature. Saving electricity must be the main concern and government and citizens should come together to save electricity so that it would be available for our future generations.