Tuesday, June 10, 2014

By 2019, India's government promises at least one lightbulb in every home, thanks to solar energy

The new central government of India has promised at least one bulb in every home with solar energy by 2019. This idea of generating electricity with roof-top solar plant has prompted state governments in India to go door-to-door, or rather roof-to-roof, to solve their acute and recurring power problems.

Karnataka which is the largest southern state by area has recently announced its new solar policy and the state government plans to buy energy from homes and public buildings that generate power from rooftop solar panels connected to the power grid. This summer Karnataka had a shortage of more than 400 megawatts of power in April. Also, Bangalore, the state’s capital, witnessed power cuts every two hours in the hot months of April and May. If this solar energy plans goes well then Karnataka will add 2,000 megawatts (2 gigawatts) to the state’s power kitty and rooftops will contribute 400 megawatts by 2018. Karnataka has 10 gigawatts of solar energy potential because the city gets over 300 sunny days a year!

Typically a residential rooftop area in India ranges between 200 and 1,000 square feet. This means it can comfortably house a standard one-kilowatt solar photo voltaic system. The Energy and Resources Institute estimates these systems can cost as little as Rs 110,000.

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