China and India are not only the two most populous nations on Earth, they are also two of the most rapidly growing economies. Historically, economic and social development have been subsidized by cheap and abundant fossil-fuels. Climate change from fossil-fuel emissions has resulted in the need to reduce fossil-fuel emissions in order to avoid catastrophic warming. If climate goals are achieved, China and India will have been the first major economies to develop via renewable energy sources. In this article, we examine the factors of projected population growth, available fossil-fuel reserves, and renewable energy installations required to develop scenarios in which both China and India may increase per capita energy consumption while remaining on trach to meet ambitious climate goals. Here, we show that China and India will have to expand their renewable energy infrastructure at unprecedented rates in order to support both population growth and development goals. In the larger scope of the literature, we recommend community-based approaches to microgrid and cookstove development in both China and India.
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