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Solar Success in India

By Bob Ewing     May 1, 2007 in World
U.N. report says clean energy can be cheaper than fossil fuels
A solar power project that supplies power to 100,000 people has been so successful that it will be expanded. The project has demonstrated that it is possible to produce clean, earth friendly energy cheaper than using fossil fuels, according to a recently released United Nations report.
The successful project costs 1.5 million to implement and will be extended to include China, Indonesia, Mexico and Algeria as well as several other, not yet named countries. This project was designed for people who live in rural areas in order to end their need for kerosene lamps or where the grid-supported system was unreliable.
"We are addressing the notion that renewable energy is irrelevant to poor countries and the poorer communities," Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme)
The solar systems that are being used ,cost between $300.00 and $500.00, and in an area where the annual salary is approximately $1200.00, it is necessary for the banks, in the region, to assist the people to purchase these systems. There was no information about the nature of the assistance. It is most likely a micro-loan to the homeowners.
Two banks, Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank were initial backers of the project. The Bank of Maharashtra and Sewa Bank joined the plan this year. The U.N. subsidy, phased out over time, helped cut initial interest rate payments.
"The India programme's success has already inspired a sister effort in Tunisia," a U.N. statement said. "Similar programmes are upcoming for China, Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico, Ghana, Morocco and Algeria."
The banks recognized a profit potential in this project, people were either buying kerosene or getting their electricity from the gird. This was their motive for getting behind the plan. The UN subsidy made the systems affordable and thus helped create a market.
For those who ask what the United Nations do here is an excellent example of the organization making a positive difference in the daily lives of people and helping clean the air, land and water at the same time..
More about Indian project shows, Solar power, Affordable