Solar lanterns to light up poor households
In what could be a boon to about 2.6 crore poor Indian households without an electrical connection, a high-powered Energy Coordination Committee led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is mulling over using 10% of its Rs34,000 crore kerosene subsidy to procure solar lanterns for distribution to below-poverty-line households.
According to latest estimates India has about 3.85 lakh solar lanterns in use. Each lantern, currently priced between Rs750 to Rs3,500 per unit, can be used at an average for six hours (on a full day’s charge) thereby saving about 100 litres of kerosene per year.
With fuel prices soaring and the government incurring a huge bill every year by way of kerosene subsidies, industry experts are of the view that there is an urgent need to switch to alternate sources of energy in India.
Germany-based Manz Automation is already executing three projects in India in the field of solar energy.