Enhanced lighting and communication in Indian villages

For as many as 1.3 billion people in the world today, access to electricity in their homes is no more than a dream. Expensive and often hazardous alternatives are used for lighting, and many people incur extra costs and additional travel for charging mobile phone batteries.
 
Naturetech Infrastructure Pvt Ltd has come up with an innovative, community operated solution which resulted in the company being named a WWF Climate Solver at a ceremony in New Dehli on August 1.
 
“We are based in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, where over 20 million households are still using kerosene as a primary fuel for lighting,” says ShyamPatra, Founder and Director of Naturetech. “Our aim was to develop a system that would reduce the usage of kerosene, improve communication through phone charging points, and provide extended light-hours in order to enhance education and local business.” The result is a Smart AC solar micro grid which provides 24-hour green electricity. 
 
The solar power plant caters to customer households through an underground distribution network and smart prepaid metering that avoids theft and tampering.
 
The land requirement and installation cost have been reduced since the panels are mounted on streetlight poles and the battery bank is housed in a compact metal enclosure. 
 
Each household in the system has a minimum of two LED bulbs and a mobile charging point and has access to electricity for about five hours any time during the day as per their requirement. There is also the option to purchase additional power for TV, fans etc. 
 
“We took the step of training the youth to operate the AC solar plant in the village where we have already set up our system. This instils a sense of ownership among the community,” Patra says.
 
If this solution is replicated at a large scale in the developing world, it has the potential to change the lives of 21 million people by the year 2023.
If this solution is replicated at a large scale in the developing world, it has the potential to change the lives of 21 million people by the year 2023.