Friday, December 31, 2010

India Paid $10 Million in Solar Subsidies in 2010

India paid at least 459 million rupees ($10 million) in subsidies to help rural homes and villages install solar-powered lights in 2010.

A government program promoting the use of lights powered by photovoltaic cells installed 78,408 portable lanterns and 108,599 home-lighting systems, the Ministry of Renewable Energy said in a statement today.

The ministry provided a subsidy of 2,400 rupees for each solar lantern, which typically runs off batteries, and anywhere from 2,500 rupees to 8,660 rupees for each home-lighting system depending on the model installed and the type of user, it said.

More people in India lack access to electricity than any other nation, according to the International Energy Agency. The government is promoting standalone renewable energy projects, including 2,000 megawatts of decentralized solar plants by 2022, to help plug gaps in its electricity grid.

A $2 billion-a-year market for clean-energy products such as solar-powered lanterns may exist among India’s rural poor who want dependable, energy-efficient devices, according to a September report funded by ICICI Bank Ltd., India’s second- largest bank.


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