Solar panels are cheaper, but without public awareness and participation, that means zilch for India’s renewable energy mission- Feb 07, 2012

As I read New Scientist’s recent article about the drop in the cost of production of solar panels, I wonder why we, in India, don’t have aggressive incentives in place for adopting solar technology (or any other suitable renewable energy mode as per context). According to the piece, the price of solar panels has fallen by some 50% in 2011 and cost a quarter of what they did in 2008. That has, according to the article, huge implications for India and other developing countries, especially in the light of the fact that India is committed to a “Solar Mission” to install 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022!

I looked up where we’ve got by now. In 2011-2012, an Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) document reports, 833MW of wind power capacity was created as opposed to a target of 2400MW;111MW of small hydro power capacity was creates against a target of 350MW and so on and so forth in the following areas: biomass power, bagasse cogeneration, waste to power (1.2MW against a target of 25MW), and most embarrassingly, solar power (8.5MW against a target of 200MW for the year!). I fail to see how the mission would achieve its target at the rate of under 10MW capacity addition per year.

Typical of government programs, there is a lot of self-praise on the Internet for starting such a mission, but very little to show what’s being done. To me, something like renewable energy needs a Pulse Polio sort of approach- targeted, aggressive and result-oriented. The public needs to be made aware that the energy crisis is a life threatening situation. They then should be offered technology and assistance to install solar panels, wind turbines, bio-gas plants or whatever is applicable to individuals or communities. Experts say installation costs are what hold people back; so low interest loans should be provided. Empaneled companies should be able to install and maintain these devices and report to the government monthly. Tax breaks should be offered to those who adopt these solutions and finally, recognition must be offered to organizations and community mobilizers who promote the cause. The involvement if corporate houses is crucial, both to demonstrate the effectiveness of these technologies by adopting them as well as to fund renewable energy campaigns as part of their CSR.

There is a strong role for community and citizens here, but the government seems to still be focused on public institutions. A lot is happening, but the public is excluded from the chance to influence their future. And that, in my opinion, is a serious issue.

 

Advertisements

About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on February 7, 2012, in Urban Planning & Policy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A market based incentive would be very helpful wherein the government sets up rules for utility company to buy back power from property owners who install solar panels and plug them into the existing grid. This approach is highly successful in California where entire parking lots are being shaded by solar panels as well as rooftops.

  2. Owing towards the rising monthly electric charges, we’ve to reconsider over the solution to lower our expenses. Even though we’ve now, to a particular degree altered our way of life to conform to accepted facts about lessening electrical energy within the property, the prices for our electricity and gas wants continuously rise. We consequently must assess by far the most current innovation of acquiring power by means of solar energy for homes. In hassle-free terms solar energy is harnessing the zero cost power of the sun to generate electrical energy.,

    Remember to take a look at this useful homepage
    <,http://www.caramoantourpackage.com/

  3. When you think about solar panels for homes, there are a few things that you need to think about. A lot of people think that there are not many choices when it comes to solar panels. After all, a solar panel is just a solar panel right? Well, that is where you would be wrong. Today we are going to cover the different kinds of solar panels that you can get for your home or to use around your home.;

    Take a look at the most interesting write-up on our own internet page
    <,http://www.caramoantourpackage.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: