Bijli project connects 58,000 people in India to clean energy

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21 August 2015

NEW DELHI: The Climate Group project, Bijli – Clean Energy for All has now officially provided energy access to 58,000 people across India.

The new milestone results are well over the initial target of 50,000 people in India.

As the roll-out phase of the project comes to an end this September, The Climate Group will continue to connect people in India to clean, cheap solar power, together with local partners and companies.

Bijli project, principally funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, is creating a model of renewable energy access, with over 58,000 people now impacted positively. The model could be scaled up, allowing potentially hundreds of millions of people – many of whom have to rely on expensive and dirty kerosene lamps for lighting – in India and elsewhere in the world to access affordable, low carbon, solar powered electricity.

For instance, a transition to efficient off-grid lighting in the whole of South East Asia would have an equally significant benefit for the almost 500 million consumers in the region who are not connected to the grid. Replacing all the kerosene, candles and battery-powered torches with solar LED lanterns would save US$5.6-7.6 billion in fuel costs and avoid 23.3 million tons of CO2 emissions each year.

The project’s progress was welcomed at the first ever India Off-Grid Energy Summit this week, which saw top off-grid energy practitioners, policymakers and entrepreneurs agree that sector collaboration is the most effective way to lead India’s flourishing renewables market.

In most poor rural parts of India, electrical power is a rarity. When night falls, whole families and villages rely on kerosene and diesel lamps. These are dangerous, expensive and bad for the environment.

Approximately 400 million people in India still have no connection to the main electricity grid. Even those who do, suffer from regular blackouts. In 2012, 600 million were plunged into darkness because of outages on the main grid – the biggest power failure in human history.

There’s a much better energy source available, one that’s getting cheaper and cheaper to access. The average 300 days of sunshine in India makes it the perfect destination for solar energy. Solar powered lighting outshines a kerosene wick lamp 10 times over, and is less than one fourth the cost.

Together with local organisations in India, The Climate Group is providing clean, cheap solar power to poor rural villages in the states of Maharashtra, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

Being connected to clean and cheap electricity means having access to more safety, security, being able to expand your business, studying at night and improving the quality of your life.

These new solar electricity innovations can literally light up the lives of people in rural areas. Implementing them lowers carbon emissions, improves public health, creates jobs, and provides a reliable, long-term energy supply at low, stable prices.

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