There are tens of thousands of villages in India that have yet to be connected to the national power grid. And there are an equally large number of villages that despite being connected to the grid hardly get enough electricity.
But now, a student from the Imperial College of England has plans to change this village by village. Meet Clementine Chambon, thanks to whose efforts, a village in Uttar Pradesh with more than 100 houses now has access to uninterrupted power supply.
Clementine, a final year PhD student in the engineering department of her college in England, has been working with Urja, a social venture startup. They have together set up a mini solar grid that provides electricity to nearly 1,000 people.
Apart from the conventional sources of energy, India is also exploring non-conventional sources of energy. And among all the non-conventional sources of energy, solar has emerged as the largest market. Over the past three years, solar energy production in India has grown four-fold and is nearly 10,000 megawatts. It is expected to increase even further in the next three years, reaching nearly 20,000 megawatts.
Clementine feels content looking at the happiness their initiative has brought to people’s lives. Knowing that the children in this village will have the lights to study gives her immense happiness. She hopes that the school in their village will eventually be able to establish a computer centre, thus enabling children to learn computers.
Most villagers depend on farming and animal husbandry for their living. With the solar power plant, the farmers will no longer have to depend on diesel pumps for irrigation as they can use solar pumps for irrigation purposes. Clementine believes that diesel prices might increase in the near future and, therefore, the use of solar pumps can prove to be more economical.
She wishes to continue her work and install solar power plants in other villages as well. Once the plant is set up, a smart meter is installed in each house to measure the electricity spent in real time. This data collected by Urja will be used to improve its services in future.