Solar Power Dependable Energy for India
In Mumbai we dream of solar power to escape the increasing prices of electricity, Reliance Energy customers will understand what I mean when I say this. Since the privatization of the electricity supply in Bombay we have had to pay higher prices for our electricity, bills are shooting up as we keep a check on consumption.
Unfortunately we do not have options available to us like the Dutta couple who settled down in Rabirashmi Abasan in Kolkatta. Rabirashmi means sun rays, which is supposedly the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA). They seem to have a very intelligent setup, photovoltaic panels on the roof of houses generates power for the occupants to use, excess power is contributed to the city.
Apart from that there are a range of options that these houses provide, the entire complex finds itself with a solar heated swimming pool, solar street lights, hot water in the kitchen and bathrooms day and night, an automatic hydro-pneumatic water pump and to top it all the architecture is based on a solar passive concept. The buildings are oriented to receive the southern breeze while the cavities of walls are insulated to keep warm indoors during winters and cool during summers.
That’s a good option, but what about us in Mumbai perhaps its not possible to generate that much energy when its cloudy, but solar lights sure will help get that dreaded energy bill down. If you combine it with a windmill, we sure do get a lot of wind in the monsoons to make up for the lack of sunlight. It’s not far fetched in terms of possibilities take for example the Shah family in Juhu Vile Parle Development Scheme (JVPD), who switched over to hybrid power.The hybrid system uses solar and wind energy to generate electricity, it consists of windmill, solar panels, batteries and an inverter. It generates around 1800 KW of electricity, that’s enough to run at least a fan and a tube-light in every room of that seven storey building at a given point in time. It can also bear the load of some televisions and computers.
Though the hybrid set up was around Rs. 2.5 lakhs, when you take into account the government has a 50% subsidy on these set ups, it becomes a viable option to become self dependent when the city faces an energy crunch. Coincidentally while I was working on this post the electricity cut off and came on much after my UPS died.
Even the rural parts of India seem to be benefiting much more from projects like the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that has made it more affordable for more than16,600 Indians living in Karnataka to buy solar power systems for their homes and small businesses.
While Andhra Pradesh as well has its SELF Project and the Gujarat Energy Development Agency has its own agenda, lets hope we see a lot more solar initiatives in Mumbai than just energy saving alternatives like load shedding.
I know that there are a couple of companies that have begun to manufacture solar lights with a panel to sell in the markets recently, will try to do a more in depth article on their products soon. You may also be interested in Sharp’s solar powered LCD TV and Toyota’s Prius that will get a solar cell.