Energy Dialogue with RSN
Light is Life: Right to Energy Movement
Keywords: electricity, power, right, human, energy, development
To make India economically developed, militarily strong and scientifically advanced, it is important that its each sector performs best. Electricity is the bedrock of all advancements in the modern world. Unstated objectives of the Electricity Act were to unleash the potential of power sector through fundamental reforms.

The overall direction and intent of the Act is very forward looking. With the passage of time, the sector has matured and Regulatory Authority, Appellate Tribunals and Courts have brought in certainty and clarified many issues.

Light is life, efficient system of electricity is a pre-requisite for the development of every country. This is true for developing country like India which wishes to play a greater role in international affairs.

Universal power supply is the primary responsibility of welfare state. The Constitution of India places “electricity” in the concurrent list (ENTRY 38, LIST 3 of Schedule 7) and recognizes the Union Government and the State Government as equal partners in the promotion of electricity industry. “power for all” is a great challenge for the government and at the same time it is a great opportunity for the Indian industry.

The Electricity Act presents a unique opportunity for credit worthy organizations and entrepreneurs to enter national electricity market (NEM) and participate in all the segments of the growth in power sector- contributing to the government’s objective of ensuring reliable and quality power to all citizens and attaining the accelerated growth and development for the country besides earning handsome profits from the industry.

Special mention must be made of immense possibilities available in wind, solar photovoltaic, solar-thermal, small hydro, biomass, co-generation, geo-thermal, tidal, and urban and industrial waste-based power projects. These projects, it seems will have special place in the electricity market. Should we go for or against green power is not an issue. Now the issue after Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement is whether we wish to go for green power now or later on. In fact, the clean development mechanism (CDM) is an opportunity for us to earn certified emission reduction receipts (CERRs). This has contributed to make energy generation through non-conventional sources more attractive besides earning valuable foreign exchange for the nation.

Why Right to Energy?

After food, water and shelter, the fourth element of basic necessity is energy (URJA). It is a key indication of development of a nation. With more than 1 billion sisters and brothers deprived of electricity and more than 3 billion having no access to clean fuel to cook food, there is widespread energy poverty across the world. Acknowledging the above challenge of energy poverty, an urgent step is required to mitigate climate change through energy transition. Mr. Raj Singh Niranjan is campaigning for Right to Energy to be included as fundamental right in all constitutions of the world and to be included as a basic human right in the universal declaration of the human rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

In view of the above, “Right to Energy” declaration was signed on 2nd October 2018 in India, and consequently on 15th April, 2019 during “4th TILA International - Confex on Energy.” 15th April was then declared as “Right to Energy Day”.

In the case of KN Raveendranadhan V. The Kerala State Electricity Board decided in 2021 by the High Court of Kerala, it has been accepted that the right to electricity is an integral part of Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Indian Constitution.