Doing away with kerosene lamps

The organisation has set itself a target to do away with the daily use of 1,80,000 kerosene lamps in poor households and replace them with photovoltaic lamps. The project has been taken up in villages in the Tumkur region. Another objective of the project is to reduce the use of firewood for cooking by introducing woodstoves in 70,000 households.

According to M C Raj, the chief functionary of REDS, the organisation has started providing clean lighting options through Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) finance to 60,000 rural households that do not have electricity.

The purpose of the project activity is to install photovoltaic lamps in 60,000 non-electrified rural homes in nine of the ten taluks of Tumkur district.

The lamps use 3W CFL or LED luminaries that derive their power from photovoltaic modules using monocrystalline or amorphous panels. The systems will be supplied by reputed lighting systems companies, depending on the quantities required and choice of design and brand preferred by the users after technical tests.

The aim of the project is to improve the quality of life of people in non-electrified rural households. Currently kerosene is used for lighting, but the quality of light is very poor.
The photovoltaic lights will improve the standards of living by providing higher quality lighting. The project will also reduce green house gas emissions.

Economic benefits
On the economic benefits of the project, Raj explains that the households buy on an average of 0.36 litres of kerosene every day for lighting purposes.

The installation of photovoltaic lamps through this CDM project will provide, efficient and long-lasting lighting to the user and will help them lead better lives, he adds. It is proposed to provide  a number of lamps based on the population of each household and requirements as under taken in the baseline study. The only cost will be the savings to replace the batteries every two years.   

Technological benefits
M C Raj adds that renewable energy technology that is currently not available in these regions will be disseminated to new constituents.
Local people will be inspired to find out more about these new technologies. This also means penetration of new technology in the rural area, which can serve as a model to rural electrification.  

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