India: Victory of Light over Darkness

This post was originally published in 2013. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

by Stella Maria Pfeifer (guest post), , 2 Comments

For 65 years, sundown has brought darkness to Darewadi, a small village in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Now, thanks to a new PV plant, this situation has improved.


Everything changed in August 2012. At long last, a PV plant using SMA inverters was installed on a field of about 45 m² has brought light into the darkness. The plant provides 10 KW of electricity, enough to power 17 street lights and three lamps per household.

 

Without Electricity, No Light and No Mobile Phone

After sundown, residents of this small village faced many difficulties. Darkness complicated all of life’s ordinary activities, e.g., schoolwork, the rice harvest, cooking. Once the sun went down, children had to huddle around the weak light of a kerosene lamp to do their homework. Workers in the rice fields couldn’t see where they were going, and missteps led to injuries. The villagers also worried about wild animals. The area is home to leopards, wild boars, and snakes, which can be dangerous. Cooking has its own hazards: People using a chulha, the traditional Indian stove, in dim light often burned themselves.
Village residents had to walk three kilometers just to charge their mobile phones. When a villager died, family members living far away could not be notified – none of the phones in the village were charged.

 

The PV plant in Darewadi, India, provides electricity for 39 families (source: Dharmendra Kore)

The PV plant in Darewadi, India, provides electricity for 39 families (source: Dharmendra Kore)

Now Work in the Evening Is Also Made Possible for Villagers

Each household now has three lamps, two 4-watt and one 2-watt. The light they cast makes it easier to work indoors and gives people a sense of security. Women and children feel safe and no longer dependent on daylight. Now they can do as they like in the evening.
Villagers who used to gather around a campfire to talk about the day’s events can now watch television together. There are three television sets in Darewadi connecting residents with the outside world in new ways.

 

Follow-up Projects Have Support from Residents

The pilot project conducted by Gram Oorja Solutions Pvt Ltd and Bosch Solar has caught on: PV plants will soon be installed in two other villages, Mulshi in Pune und Diwasi in Dhule. The villagers are helping to pay for the plants. Each household pays the equivalent of about 1.80 euros to be connected to the PV plant.
This year the villagers, who have lighted only oil lamps over the past 65 years, can enjoy Diwali in style. This Hindu festival of light, which lasts several days, celebrates the victory of light over darkness with many lights glowing.

 

 

2 Comments
    • Avatar
      Jannis Rudzki-Weise says:

      Dear Prakash,

      unfortunately we cannot give your a specific number for the price of the modules as we provide the inverters. It would be best for you to contact the module manufacturer directly.

      Best regards,
      Jannis

      Reply

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