Greenpeace: We don't need no stinkin' utilities! (At least not in India)

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: In America, the uproars are about smart meter opt-outs and net metering rate debates. In India, however, some groups are so fed up with the electric power industry that they are determined to go it alone – and they are getting help from some well-funded non-profits. Greenpeace, for instance, is pushing a microgrid with solar power and energy storage to make villages self-sufficient.

 

If they can make this cost-effective in India... will it be too long until it migrates to the developed world? For a more thorough look at Greenpeace's strategy – and to learn if it might be adapted to your territory – download the Greenpeace white paper on microgrids for India.

- By Jesse Berst

 

Greenpeace India has launched a campaign to push the Indian state of Bihar toward decentralized clean energy. To prove the point, it aims to create a solar-powered microgrid for the village of Dharnai. The village was electrified previously, but lost its grid connection and is currently dependent on costly diesel generators.

 

Co-implemented with BASIX and the Centre for Environment and Energy Development, the micro grid's solar panels will produce about 100 kilowatts. The goals is to supply affordable, sustainable and round the clock electricity to 350 households. The micro grid is scheduled to become operational by 2014.

 

The project is as much about politics as it is about technology. "The success of this unique model will also attract investors and push the government to improve the regulatory framework," said Mihir Sahana, Managing Director of BASIX India.

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