Palwal is a small town on Delhi-Agra highway and one among many other small towns that are fast developing because these are now within commuting distance from Delhi city. So people can afford to continue to stay in these towns and leave their families there, while they go for a day’s job to Delhi and back. These towns have very irregular electric supply from the regular distribution companies that are supposed to supply electricity. On the other hand people who live here have more money than they used to have. So they can afford to buy electricity for their domestic usage.
Since the power supply is erratic, they prefer to have diesel generator sets. Sometimes there is one enterprising person who operates a large GenSet and provides it to shop keepers operating in local markets, more like a micro power producing and distributing company. But usually individual shopkeepers or households prefer to have their own generator sets. The per unit production of electricity using these is quite expensive compared to that provided by the state electricity board, besides it is also more polluting as it uses petroleum products.
An interesting initiative that can be noted in these emerging small towns and suburbs of NCR regions is the phenomenon of large oil and power production/ distribution companies promoting alternate energy technologies here. What they promote are solar lanterns, home lighting systems using solar and biogas technology, water heating systems etc. Traditionally, such a technology was promoted by small entrepreneurs. However, what was missing was the finance needed to the household, and the after sales service, as these would be sold to few and far apart households in a town or even a remote village. If finance can be guaranteed a home lighting system can easily be serviced in less than a thousand rupees a month installment over three years. After that it is free and has a life of up to ten to fifteen years.
Financing alternate energy was always a stumbling block for promoting alternate energy technologies. Being a large energy company, nationalized banks are willing to give finances to them for funding these alternate energies. An individual or an NGO or a social worker who is trusted by the local people acts as an intermediate for the payment of installments. The potential of this trend is tremendous, hence thought of sharing it with you all!
Image Courtesy: Advit Foundation