If you have a chance to pass through a rural area in India, you will be surprised to see the number of solar installations being used in homes and fields. On the other hand, there are not many to be found where you would expect them to be, in the cities that is.
The concept of creating decentralized micro-grids to make people self-sufficient in electric power has been floating around for a while now. In a recent visit to a village about 150 kilometers from the National Capital Region, the writer was surprised to learn about households there using on-grid solar power.
Compared to Indian cities, the villages are much savvier in using solar technology to their advantage. There are several reasons at play here. For one, home solar installations require open spaces, which is more readily available in a rural setting than in urban areas where rooftop access is limited. Another reason is the farm and rural subsidy schemes which offer higher compensation for taking the solar initiative. Lastly, the more prominent marketing channels for solar schemes in the rural areas and the more aware rural psyche which is perennially tuned to look for more economical ways of sustenance.
In cities, people are aware about solar heaters and other appliance based solar technologies, but the rooftop solar has some catching up to do. There are a few things that can be done by the government, such as,
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