Varied interests in the energy and power sector viz., CDM, carbon rating, Monitoring & Evaluation, Energy Management, Rural Development; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy related matters; Demand Side Management (DSM), Energy Audits, Distributed Power Generation (Biomass, Wind,Solar and Small Hydro), Participatory Management.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Solar Lanterns to light up Indian Villages

'3 cr solar lanterns to light up villages'
9 Jul 2008, 0528 hrs IST, Ramu Bhagwat,TNN

NAGPUR: With electricity yet to reach 50% villages in the country, solar lanterns could be the answer to lighting needs of our villages. Union minister for new and renewable energy Vilas Muttemwar has mooted a plan by which a massive subsidy of Rs 39,000 crore on kerosene can be saved by switching over to solar lamps.

"The kerosene supplied through PDS is mainly used for lighting purpose. While its actual cost is Rs 39 per litre, it is sold at a subsidised rate of Rs 9. But unfortunately, there is a massive leakage in the system and a large amount of the subsidised fuel finds way to blackmarket and to wrong hands instead of the poor villager," he said.

"Use of kerosene in lamps is not as per climate change mitigation policy. At a recent energy co-ordination committee headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh, I have suggested that kerosene subsidy be phased out at 20 per cent a year and the money saved could be used to fund solar lanterns. This way the government can meet its mandate to cut subsidy," Muttemwar told TOI.
"We will need around two crore solar lamps a year and manufacturers are ready to supply the quantity," added Muttemwar.

The minister has also asked all chief ministers to initiate measures to increase generation of non-conventional energy. Latest technological developments have made solar power generation less expensive. The per MW cost of generation which was high as 40,000 crore has now come down to Rs 18,000 crore. The initial capital may be high but recurring cost is less and solar plants have less gestation period.

Thermal power has huge ecological implications too and as compared solar power is clean. Each state by shifting to solar power to the tune of 200MW can also earn carbon credits of Rs 32 crore under the clean development mechanism.

A ten-year subsidy scheme for solar generation is attracting good response from states, said Muttemwar. Under it, applications have been received for a total 2000 MW generation.

While for solar photo voltaic cells the subsidy is Rs 12 per unit, for the solar thermal power it is Rs 10 Rajasthan is leading in the endeavour with plans to produce 600 MW of solar power, said Muttemwar.



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