Solar energy to light up four Karnataka villages
The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) has come up with a demonstration project under which a solar lighting system will be installed in every house in four backward villages of the state over the next six months.
While Kodihally village in Mandya district has already been identified for the project, efforts are on to select the other three villages. According to the KREDL’s managing director Shivalingaiah, two villages from north Karnataka and two from the south will be chosen. Some of the main parameters for selection are that the villages consist of only around 100 houses each and that they have an inadequate existing power supply network. The villages should also have good access roads to enable visitors to get to the demonstration villages easily, says Shivalingaiah.
Even houses with Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) power connections will be provided the solar lighting system.
Households can opt for anywhere from one to six electrical points depending upon their requirements. However, the villagers will be allowed to use solar lighting only during peak evening hours, from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm. They will not use KPTCL power during peak times. “This will ensure that the villagers get uninterrupted and quality power supply during prime hours,” Shivalingaiah adds. The scheme should help reduce dependence on KPTCL supplies and ease the power supply situation in the state.
Pointing out that each of the four villages was tiny, with only about 100 houses, Shivalingaiah explains that it will cost around Rs 12 lakh to install solar lighting systems in them. Since they are part of a demonstration project, the KREDL will collect only part of the installation charges from the villagers.
If other villages show an interest in the project, technical support will be offered to them to install similar systems. They will, however, have to pay the actual cost of installation. This will definitely be low as it is being done on a large scale, says Shivalingaiah. Even if the actual cost is charged, it should be possible for the villagers to recover the money in about five to six years through savings in energy bills, he claims.
According to Shivalingaiah, the project would receive a boost if the government came forward with loans, at low interest rates, to help villagers install the solar lighting system.