9 December 2020: Today, a coalition from the health care and energy sectors in India, published Power for Health: India Action Plan outlining 10 critical actions needed for India to achieve universal health care powered by distributed clean energy. The actions focus on assessing state-level health center electrification, that includes energy efficiency equipment, identifying suitable financial mechanisms and operating models, and building local capacity.
Over 39,000 sub-centres in rural India, responsible for serving 230 million people, lack electricity. This severely impacts their capacity to offer optimal health care to patients. Decentralized renewable energy (DRE) can play a significant role in solving this problem quickly and affordably, for less than INR 30 per person.
Earlier this year, the coalition of about 20 leaders from think tanks, research groups, renewable energy companies, sustainable development organizations, industry associations, and health care services came together to sign an open letter calling for action, and subsequently organized a National Action Roundtable, making the case for solarizing all unelectrified sub-centres in rural India, clearly outlining steps needed to get to that goal.
“Sustainable health infrastructure that leverages innovative, decentralised and energy efficient solutions will bring huge dividends for health in rural India. Transitioning to renewable energies across healthcare operations will ensure efficient service delivery and improved health outcomes,” says Dr. Poornima Prabhakaran, Deputy Director, Centre for Environmental Health, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
The coalition has been able to generate interest and buy-in from key stakeholders at the national and state levels to move forward with improving the infrastructure of health facilities that would enhance the quality of health services -- something that is especially relevant as India and the world continues to grapple with Covid-19.
“There are a lot of similarities between the solutions needed for long-term Covid relief and climate change. In both the cases the poor face most of the brunt. It’s time for us to recognize the role of sustainable energy in better delivery of health, resulting in a truly inclusive society,” says Harish Hande, Founder & Chairman, SELCO Foundation.
Over the next year, the coalition will continue to work at the national and sub-national level to move towards state-level implementation, building on existing work so that objectives can be effectively and efficiently achieved at scale.
About Power for All
Power for All mobilizes a network of partners, delivers critical evidence for action, and champions integrated energy development to facilitate and co-create the collective action required to accelerate universal electrification.