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24x7 Power Supply; courtesy - Solar Lighting

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While the rest of the state is fretting over frequent power cuts, three little-known hamlets of Uttara Kannada district have uninterrupted power supply, thanks to Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank’s Vikasa Kirana scheme, launched in 1994, to avail of solar lighting units to enjoy uninterrupted power supply, a rarity in Karnataka these days.
Since Independence, these backward hamlets of less than 100 dwellers each had no power supply. The villagers here used to go to bed as early as 7 pm. It was not that they had no access to power. The villagers were not in a position to pay for the electricity poles and other costs to draw power lines to their houses.

However, things have changed now. Since July, they have solar lighting systems and some even watch Doordarshan by using the same system. According to Ullas Gunga of KVGB, the scheme has become so popular now that some families living in make-shift houses in the nearby villages have now migrated to these hamlets for uninterrupted power supply. “There were only 25 houses a year ago. Now there are over 60,” Ullas said. Ullas said the bank plans to cover 50 remote villages in Dharwad and Uttara Kannada district in the next few months.
A four-light solar system costs around Rs 20,000. Of this amount, the ministry of non-conventional energy sources gives Rs 5,500 as subsidy, he says.

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This is clearly the way to go in far-flung rural areas, rather than running kilometers of transmission lines. However, the ESCOMS are loathe to encouraging that since they will then no longer have an alibi for their poor performance. For more on that, click on:

Muralidhar Rao


Subsidy by Germany

193 users have liked.
Globally, India is in the prime location for solar electricity.

But because Germany, one of the least sunny places subsidies heavily it's solar industry, the prices of solar panels remains high.

In India, solar thermal, in the form of solar water heaters has been quite successful and approaching a stage where subsidies are no longer necessary.

On an average, every upmarket home in Bangalore consumes about 10 - 20 units per month, representing about 1 kW to 2 kW.

A wind/solar pv hybrid with a lead acid batter bank is feasible for small apartment complexes.
narayan82's picture

Alternative Enerhgy

201 users have liked.

There is no end to the ongoing power cuts. It will only increase.

We cannot keep on building more power plants to meet our energy demands. We are going to drain all our resources and soon blackout.

What we really have to do is limit our consumption. That is the ONLY way we are going to arrive at a solution. This can be done only through enforcement. There are so many cases where I see electricity wasted!

  1. Bill Boards - when we dont get power in our homes, do we need to light up celebrity faces at night to sell us more products? Why cant we have solar powered billboards?
  2. Malls - These guys consume so much power its not a joke. Can't we find some alternative?
  3. Street Lighting, can we make this more economical. I know the Yellow lights consumer more power than the white ones. Also, how about sensors, that only turn on the lights when car/pedestrian pass?
  4. IT Cos. Exterior Lighting - places like UB City, use so much electricity to light up the exterior purely for aesthetical purposes - is this a dire neccesity for our city now?
  5. At home, we all leave the outside lights on. Do we need to do this everynight? Especially when the street lights are also on? Can we atleast make all extrior home lighitng mandatory to use CFLs?

Solar is definately one option for many of these areas. But I dont think it is enough. We need to work other methods. For example, the stench of the open drains can be stopped by closing the, and collecting the methan emmitted. This can be burn to create street lights.

Can we create building codes, that make natural lighting a mandatory element? 

I am not sure about wind energy, but can't we get more out of it? Suzlon has set up a windfarm, can we not get more such inititives?

The government is wasting its money buying more power from its neighbors. Instead if they used that money to have more efficient usage of electricity it could make a huge difference.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
psaram42's picture

Solar Power is the fundamental Source of power of sorts…

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So is Petroleum too of solar power origin. Solar power however is atomic fusion power, which is made available by nature in plenty.

Yes we can use solar power to replace use of petroleum to an extent of keeping it below dangerous levels considering global warming. The only hitch regarding Solar Power is the cost. If we can put enough capital on Solar Power whole of our country can be self sufficient in its present power needs. The Gobi desert can be turned into an asset probably.

To day I saw a Reva car which was carrying two stickers saying
1. “I cause no pollution why don’t you”
2. “My other car is also Reva”

Not surprising, Reva car is not a roaring success.
idontspam's picture

Too hard on ourselves

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The rest of the world produces and uses far more electricity and fossil fuels than India does. I think we are being too hard on ourselves unfairly. We should always look at per capita consumption of fossil fuels and electricity for the countries in the world to realize the imbalance. We dont have to beat ourselves up and see the rest of the world lavishly using up what could rightfully be distributed more evenly based on population if only we really wanted to save this earth.
idontspam's picture

Per capita consumption

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Here you go... we are not bad for our population. I am not denying we can improve but look who is the worst offender on top of the list and has been there for a long time.

Per capita electricity consumption

Per capita oil consumption

psaram42's picture

Not a question of being hard on our selves at all

185 users have liked.
When I said “we” I was referring to all of us on the planet.

Of course Gobi Desert happens to be our asset, like Petroleum that of Middle east.

By the way next American President could be of Indian Origin!

Decentralised option

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Solar pv generated power, on the long run is more cheaper than diesel generator backed up power, which costs about Rs. 11 a unit. The German Goeth Institute (Max Mueller Bhavan) in Bangalore recently put up Solar pv panels to provide back up electricity.

Selco, promoted by Harish Hande, makes small panels for rural areas and is a reasonable hit in Karnataka. Their solar panels are connected to a small lead acid battery (similar to the ones used for cars). When the sun is up, the electricity is harnessed and stored in the battery. This electricity is later used in the peak evening time.

Small vegetable vendors in Malleswaram market have this and they claim it is cheaper than old kerosene lamps and has more light which makes their vegetables/fruits more visible to customers and helped generate more sales.
idontspam's picture

Next american pres

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"By the way next American President could be of Indian Origin!"

Nice thought. Indeed it could be... this is truly the only country where that can happen. I cant imagine it happening in Europe.'s picture


189 users have liked.
selco's drive is interesting. 35000 may not sound like much but it's a hole in a lot of people's pocket. Low tech retail might work way better than a centralized home system
Asadullah Pasaribu's picture

solar energy

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Because of the ever-increasing costs of energy and the obvious environmental impact of burning up fossil fuels, turning to alternative energy sources such as solar energy is a priority.
Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Get free light-stop misuse during day time-Project U-SEE

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Dear all,

I am using a method to reduce my electricity bill by getting free light into my home and it was recognised by the World Bank during IDM 2007 competition.  this method is not a rocket science but though aware, not all of us are adopting it because, it is free for all.

Project U-SEE (unlimited saving of electrical energy) Was awarded a knowledge grant of Rs.20,000/- and since there is nothing commercial about it, it is on many internet websites as a solution at grassroot level for reducing over exploitation of fossil fuels like crude oil, coal and hydro natural sources for protection and preservation. with this simple idea, one can switch off a few bulbs, save their bills, get bright free light into homes, can light up the rural homes during day time and also provide about 4 hours of energy for lighting purpose, reduce GHG emissions, one unit saved is equal to 3 units generated

- please browse the following website, adopt and spread the good news:

- This method does not involve any nano technology or million dollar investment and I have models that suit the basic rural home to hi-rise buildings for adoption at minimum cost.

- This Project U-SEE has been presented at more than 35 seminars, conclaves and lectures delivered and working demonstrated at various symposiums, many schools have won prizes with demos of this novel idea, this has been supported by KREDL and NIE/CREST, Mysore, as also Door Darshan and other channels and Press have appreciated this idea.

- all details as also drawings are available and each one of us can innovate and adapt the same to suit their home requirements.

- I can be contacted for free consultation on 9845950440

- U-SEE, we can do it.


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