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Cheap Solar Power for Poor People in India

Another inspiring story about solar power benefitting the people who need it most: people living in emerging countries, in areas without grid connection and where often dirty kerosene is the only option.

The UK Guardian newspaper has run a story about the arrival of solar panels at a small village in Sullia in Southern India. Each panel cost $125 and can power two light bulbs and a socket. They were sold by the Solar Electric Light Company.

The company has sold panels to 135,000 households in a state called Karnataka. The company’s mission is to bring solar electricity to people earning $2 to $3 a day. It has partnered with banks who advertise solar electricity and give out loans to those customers. With the savings in electricity, they can pay off their loans with no trouble at all.

The company also targets wealthier customers by marketing solar-powered water heaters and electric fencing to protect crops from wild elephants. The article shows how well thought out business models can help promote alternative energy in a way that promotes social justice and generates profits, for all parts involved.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.