Benefiting from sun's wrath

It is definitely the need of the hour and a beneficial alternate source too. Setting up solar panels have long been in the news, but how many of us have taken it up seriously?  

Faced with frequent power-cuts and rising electricity bills, solar panels are definitely an option that’s long been touted as the solution to the City’s power shortage crisis.
Enough has been said and written about this alternative source of power but why is there no action on ground yet? What could be the reasons for not setting up solar panels? Metrolife spoke to a few experts on the issue.

People have to be environmentally conscious and realise that solar energy, quite simply, is convenient and can save money also. There are two main considerations that have to be kept in mind before installing a solar-energy system: space constraints and the initial cost.

Sanjay Kaushik, Founder President of Uthaan NGO, working on environmental issues and helping people and the state government to set up solar panels in Gurgaon, says, “The basic hindrance in setting up solar panels is the lack of basic knowledge amongst people. People don’t know the concept, they don’t the know the areas where to put up the panels. So, if basic things are not clear, who will invest in them?”

Although, it is a one time investment for upto nearly 15 years, the battery needs to be changed every two years.

And only major lights and electronic appliances can be given the connection from the panel and not high consumption ones like coolers and air conditioners.

 For that a higher watt panel is required which will again add to the cost. A simple solar panel is available on per watt basis and a 75 watt panel is recommended for a single charge unit.

A solar panel which will run only two lights and one table fan will costs around 16,000 - 18,000 excluding the battery.

So, if you want four lights and four fans to operate then it will costs 28,000, excluding the battery. The more you increase the power points, the more costly it becomes.

Sanjay adds that the Delhi government has yet not been successful because, “they had previously told the residents that if you set up solar panels on your terraces, the BSES will buy power from you, which actually didn’t happen on ground. This is no way to tell people to set up panels – instead, they should be made aware about the benefits from the solar panels and how they can reduce their electricity bills to a larger extent.”

The Haryana government has ordered compulsory setting up of solar water heaters in every new home.

Failure to comply would mean that the owners would not be given the completion certificates. The owners have also been offered a discount of Rs 50 per month on electricity bills as incentive.

A solar water heater which comes for at least 100 litres costs Rs 8,500, which is not much for a person constructing his/her house. It can go up to Rs 30,000 depending on the need.

Another NGO, Deeksha too is working on this issue and making people aware about the good results of setting up solar panels.

Its founder Tripat Parmar says, “People are resistant to change. They think about its success rate, and what would happen on cloudy days. The stored solar energy can be used on such days. Ignorance makes things more complicated. People need to understand that technology is not always harmful, it can be beneficial for the environment also. To start with, people can go for solar cookers at their homes and cook rice in no time.”

 Tripat adds, “I have a solar cooker at my home and even have solar lights installed in  my garden area since the last four years and I haven’t faced any problems with them.”
Looks like it is time to invest in some sun now!

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