Environment Conservation through Solar Energy
SCALE has been very active in promoting clean environment. Be it E-waste or introducing ECOgrade Photodegradable bags, a real alternative for plastics from GXT, U.S.A, SCALE has been striving hard to promote environment conservation.
Recently in Sooree Village of Almora District, it promoted light weight metal ploughs as a replacement for ploughs made from the Oak trees.
Solar promotion is no different!
In the sunrise industry of renewable energy, SCALE has taken many significant steps towards its awareness & capacity building. It has trained over 70 technicians to assemble & repair the solar lanterns as well as install & support the solar water heaters. It has also designed & developed its own solar lanterns which are high in features, affordable, modular & serviceable. It has associated with the Green Oscar winner, Dr.Gon Chaudhuri in promoting solar awareness in India. Besides, it has successfully run in Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand, the UNDP/MNRE/GKS Solar Water Heater Awareness Program in the year 2011.
During the last three years of SCALE working in the area of Solar, it was realized that we have a sizeable rural population who badly need clean energy. Hundreds of thousands of families either do not have electricity, or is conspicuous by its near absence or erratic supply. Owing to population growth and economic development, India's energy consumption is increasing rapidly. Energy and energy technologies have a central role in social and economic development at all scales. Among its welfare effects, energy is closely linked with the subject of forestation, education, livelihood & importantly, health through environmental pollution and degradation.
Deforestation is robbing the hills not only of its beauty but having an adverse impact on the climate change. Green Gases emission will be reduced on account of non usage of solid Bio fuel mass, woods, candles and Kerosene oil. While on one hand, SCALE is involved in promoting forest conservation and on the other, it is creating the rural ownership in the renewable energy. With the fast depletion of oil, gas & coal forecasted in near future, SCALE is promoting skill based training in solar lights. To make it a viable option, careful study of the weather conditions in various districts of Kumaon region has been done. Customized solar offerings have been construed to provide for solar power optimization. SCALE is providing a Solar Lantern with a 5Wp. Through the active involvement of local people & local government, more local people are showing interest in solar entrepreneurship
SCALE is proud to launch its in-house designed VK Solar Lanterns. It has already designed and developed a solar lantern, using indigenously obtained components which, upon solar charging, can give bright soothing light for 14 to 16 hours before requiring another round of solar charging. The first two hundred of these lanterns are being distributed free of cost to extremely remote villages in Uttarakhand.
This innovation, SCALE hopes, will create new routes towards social improvement in the lives of the poor and popularizing the use of clean energy through rural masses. It feels that the use of cheap but reliable solar lighting and water heating systems will help in meeting the energy demands of the rural population for whom the supply of conventional source of electricity is absent or erratic at best. Further, the local manufacture and serviceability of these systems will provide livelihood to the local population. The use of these products and our workshops will spread awareness towards the use of alternative sources of energy amongst rural masses. Lastly, but not the least, our products, being serviceable, will last longer and will not contribute to electronic waste being created by similar products available in Indian market, which are disposed off indiscriminately as lot of them last for less than a year. The reason for this is the fact that a number of the current products neither have any long term warranty nor serviceability available to them, so that once defective, they are junked. SCALE’s initiatives will cover this gap as well, since the products developed by SCALE and sold by the co-operatives set up by SCALE will be serviceable.
To have a satisfied user base, its existing 70 trained technicians will deliver service within two working days while the quality of its product will have a uptime target of 98%. Education will get a boon. We expect drop outs to be much lower By providing solar lights & efficient energy stoves to the poor rural families, it aims to reduce by half at least, the usage of wood as fuel. This will bring in greater efficiency and quality of life to their working, especially of women & children. There will be also substantial saving on Kerosene. Tree cutting will hopefully become a thing of the past.
SCALE innovation is as much a technology innovation as it is a social innovation. Having a track record of generating about 3000 livelihood opportunities in Uttarakhand, SCALE skill building has provided to about 5000 youth, a hope to stand on its own feet. The Solar Social Innovation’ Solar Power-Har Shyam Ki Nai Subah’ gives the power to the poor & the needy to live with dignity. Their ability to make their own solar products is not only intrinsic to their homes but provides a solar momentum against the fast depleting energy resource of oil & gas & which is further ruined by its rising prices. Livelihood, education & good health are three facets of quality of lives and even if one is deprived leaves the society stagnated. SCALE through this initiative, will address all of them. Despite its passion, SCALE too will need the hand holding with financial support. The setting up of the Cooperative Society & its manufacturing unit in Haldwani will be a key to a change, albeit through this social innovation-The power of Solar!
It is time to act.
Over the years SCALE has developed a special bond with the local people and government bodies through its social activities in this area. Therefore, SCALE has launched its project on the use of solar energy in this region. To create a market for solar products and also facilitate its deployment in the state of Uttarakhand through various promotional and developmental initiatives. In collaboration with NBIRT and School Of Renewable Energy, Kolkata a project has been taken up to create manpower to assemble and service solar lanterns. The aim is to make the lanterns efficient and affordable through local production and maintenance. A scaled up version is envisaged to utilise the same manpower in installation and servicing of solar street lighting and small home lighting. An action plan for market development of Solar Water Heater (SWH) in the Himalayan Region was proposed in the study by UNDP & MNRE. It was envisaged that a focused Program for Commercial & Institutional sector in the Himalayan states can act as a key for eliminate major barriers in the deployment of SWH.
To promote Solar awareness programs and also facilitates its deployment in the State of Uttarakhand through various promotional, developmental and livelihood initiatives.
- Promote Solar Thermal Technology like Solar Water Heaters in hotels, institutions & residences.
- Promote Photovoltaic Technology like solar lanterns & solar lighting in areas with no electricity or which suffer high power cuts.
- To make the solar lanterns efficient and affordable through local production & maintenance.
- A scaled up version is envisaged to utilize the same manpower in installation and servicing of solar street lighting and small home lighting.
- Conducting regular Solar Awareness Programs in Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand
- Capacity Building through training of technicians, installers and manufacturers
- Set up Co-operatives to assemble & support Solar Lanterns
- Improving access to credit for Solar Equipments
- Setting model Solar Village Projects
- Educating school children on the use of solar benefits
- Encouraging solar energy projects
- Assist entrepreneurs in upcoming power projects in India
- Conduct training programs on assembly & repair of solar lanterns
- Provide for the quality testing equipments.
- Promote solar through awareness programs.
- Create a network of retail outlets for the entrepreneurs/cooperatives to sell solarlanterns.
- Tie up with solar vendors for livelihood to SCALE trained technicians
- Tie ups with the financial institutions
- Provide systems for control, monitoring and evaluation
- Provide the financial & business templates
SCALE has already been working on some of its key applications like solar water heaters & solar lanterns.
- SCALE has designed its own quality solar lanterns which has high features, easily affordable & modular in nature
- It has donated 200 solar lanterns in the districts of Pithoragarh, Almora & Nainital
- Three weeks of assembly & repairs training program in Solar Lanterns conducted under the auspices of the Green Oscar winner, Dr.Gon Choudhary from NBIRT, Kolkata.
- 55 technicians trained in assembly & repair under solar lantern program.
- Ten days of Installers & repair training program in Solar Water Heaters has been conducted under UNDP/MNRE/GKS auspices, to ensure after sales support.
- 15 technicians trained under the program.
- It has also opened livelihood avenues for them through training 70 technicians on assembly & repairs of various solar equipments. This has become a pool for all Solar Vendors to draw the resource for “after sales support” in Kumaon Region.
- Five day training programme to train 10 local consultants towards preparation of Detailed Project Reports for SWH systems. The focus of the training program was to enhance the understanding of the local consultants towards development of bundled
projects in different demand segments and to clarify the modalities of the subsidy administration in the bundled projects so as to help the end users
- SCALE in association with GKS/UNDP/MNRE organized one day Solar Awareness Program in Nainital, Uttarakhand. It was attended by over 80 owners & distinguished personalities covering Hotel, Banks, Institutions, Schools, Resort owners, Builders, Architects and others
- The Solar Water Heater Installations in Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand has gone up by 30-35% annually due to joint efforts from SCALE, MNRE, UNDP ,UREDA & GKS with intense work from SCALE in Kumaon Region
- Such scaling up and sustaining interventions has lead to SCALE in formulating its approach in achieving widespread and sustainable improvements in household energy for the poor. These activities will provide a basis for SCALE, from which to build
broader-based strategic action