Power from the sun for rural India

Power from the sun for rural India

New Delhi: With the recent rise in the cost of oil and coal, the emphasis on alternative fuel sources has never been more in focus for fulfilling India’s energy needs. This is especially true for rural India, where even in ordinary circumstances, the access and availability of electricity is scarce. This is where solar power comes in. SELCO Solar Lights managing director Harish Hande says that it could be a viable alternative for rural areas.

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SELCO provides products, service, and finance of solar electric lighting products to rural communities in developing countries and was established in 1995. SELCO currently employs about 140 employees in Karnataka and Gujarat.

The main problem though remains the high costs associated with generation of solar power. Hande says that there needs to be business models that break down this cost on a per day basis. "Just like telecom," he says. Hande holds that the mobile revolution in India has been lead by cheap talktime that was divided into low cost units. He adds that government led financial institutions will be instrumental in solving this problem. With more private and government agencies showing an interest, he is hopeful that the future of solar power in India is bright .