NEW DELHI: The Climate Group’s project Bijli - Clean energy for all has now reached over 25,000 people in India, and is on its way to achieving its goal of connecting over 50,000 to solar power in India alone by the end of 2015.
Principally founded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Bijli aims to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while enhancing the lives of rural villagers in India, providing clean and cheap renewable and solar-powered energy.
This is particularly important in a nation with a failing energy system: 40% of India is still not connected to the power grid - a number we could eventually connect via renewable sources.
One of the means to reaching this goal is installing off-grid solar panels. To accelerate the development new, bold solar projects, recently The Climate Group joined SunSaluter, an award-winning social enterprise founded by the young engineer Eden Full.
“This was a fantastic opportunity for us,” says Krishnan Pallassana, India Director, The Climate Group. “To apply an award-winning technology that is simple, appropriate and adaptable but also adding significant value to our ongoing efforts to reach clean energy to rural people in India.”
Eden Full's technology was built from developing a low-cost rotating tracker for solar panels, based on a simple but ingenious mechanism.
Bottles full of water are attached to the solar panel with a counterweight to the other side. The water then passes through a filter and goes to a receiving container, so the more water is filtered, the less it remains in the bottles. This make the solar panel rotate and follow the sun for maximum exposure, and so harnesses the most power.
The system increases solar panels’ energy output by up to 40%, by the end of the day producing at least 4 liters of clean water. “It’s a win-win,” underlines Jarnail Singh, India Program Manager, The Climate Group who leads the Bijli project. “The areas where our projects are deployed often have to struggle both with the lack of energy and clean water. This is a big improvement for their every day’s life, and can really help us to switch towards a clean, healthier use of energy.”
Since September, the company has deployed over 20 installations throughout India aiming to increase this number to 45 for the pilot phase. After that SunSaluter, with the help of The Climate Group and the Dutch Postcode Lottery, will gather the data to show how this innovative concept can be scaled up.