Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A bright future with solar lanterns for India’s poor

28.04.2009
Solar energy could greatly improve standard of living in poor households in India / Women and children benefit most

Solar energy has the potential to improve the living conditions of poor rural households in India as well as contribute to the country’s future energy security, according to Professor Govindasamy Agoramoorthy from Tajen University, who is Tata-Sadguru Visiting Chair, and Dr. Minna Hsu from the National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan.

Their study1, looking at the benefits of solar lanterns on the livelihoods of village communities in Western India, as well as sustainable use of the environment, has just been published online in Springer’s journal Human Ecology.

In India, approximately 70 percent of rural areas lack electricity and over 60 percent of rural households use kerosene lamps for lighting. Kerosene lamps are not only expensive, they are also inefficient, potentially dangerous and a major source of greenhouse gases. Interestingly, the average number of sunny days in India ranges from 250 to 300 days a year, with a solar energy equivalent greater than the country’s total energy consumption. Energy efficiency is critical to nations such as India with large and growing populations. Solar lanterns, which make the most of the country’s natural and abundant sunshine, could be a practical and clean energy alternative to kerosene lamps in village communities.

Sadguru Foundation, a non-profit agency specializing in natural resources management in India, supplied 100 solar lanterns to socially and economically disadvantaged households in 25 villages in the Dahod District of the Gujarat State between January 2004 and December 2007. Agoramoorthy and Hsu studied the effects of using solar lanterns on energy usage, household savings in terms of kerosene and electricity costs, as well as the family’s quality of life. The women in the households were interviewed a month before and again a month after the introduction of the solar lanterns.

Overall, expenditure on kerosene and electricity dropped significantly in all households, after the solar lanterns were introduced. On average each household made important savings ranging from 150 to 250 US dollars annually. Whereas both households above and below the poverty level used a similar amount of electricity before the lanterns were introduced, after their introduction households below the poverty level used significantly less electricity than those above the poverty level.

The researchers also found that the solar lanterns particularly benefited school-aged children and women. Although 70 percent of the villages are connected to the power grid, they do not receive power early in the morning or in the evening because the state power company redirects electricity to major towns and cities. However, with the six hours of light supplied daily by the solar lanterns, study hours increased which had a positive influence on the children’s performance at school. Women were also able to perform their routine household work both indoors and outdoors during power outages.

The authors conclude that “the use of solar energy will contribute to India’s future energy security, particularly in rural areas where the technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity offers a decentralized alternative to uncertain electricity supplies. If implemented efficiently, renewable energy projects could not only improve the quality of life for India’s rural poor but also enhance sustainable use of the environment.”

Reference
1. Agoramoorthy G & Hsu MJ (2009). Lighting the lives of the impoverished in India’s rural and tribal drylands. Human Ecology; DOI 10.1007/s10745-009-9224-7
Contact:
Ana Granadillo Markl
tel +49-6221-487-8414

Ana Granadillo Markl | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.springer.com

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Fraunhofer ISE Supports Market Development of Solar Thermal Power Plants in the MENA Region
21.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast
20.02.2018 | University of Warwick

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>