Pay as You Go Solar in India

Posted on April 12, 2012  Comments (8)

Farmers Foil Utilities Using Cell Phones to Access Solar

In October, Bangalore-based Simpa Networks Inc. installed a solar panel on Anand’s whitewashed adobe house along with a small metal box in his living room to monitor electricity usage. The 25-year-old rice farmer, who goes by one name, purchases energy credits to unlock the system via his mobile phone on a pay-as-you-go model.

When his balance runs low, Anand pays 50 rupees ($1) — money he would have otherwise spent on kerosene. Then he receives a text message with a code to punch into the box, giving him about another week of electric light.
When he pays off the full cost of the system in about three years, it will be unlocked and he will get free power.

Across India and Africa, startups and mobile phone companies are developing so-called microgrids, in which stand- alone generators power clusters of homes and businesses in places where electric utilities have never operated.

Very cool. Worldwide, approximately 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity and another 1 billion have extremely unreliable access. The poorest spending up to 30% of their income on inefficient and expensive means of providing light and accessing electricity. Solutions like this, finding engineering solutions for basic needs that are market based, are great.

That the poor end up owning their solar system after just 3 years is great.

Creating great benefit to society with the smart adoption of technology and sustainable economics is something I love.

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8 Responses to “Pay as You Go Solar in India”

  1. Emel R
    July 9th, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    It is hard to imagine so many people without the ability to turn on a light switch. I am not sure I have one single expense that gobbles up 30% of my income. What a ways it could go if they were able to spend elsewhere?

  2. KudoCase Provides Solar Charging for Your iPad | Curious Cat Gadgets
    October 11th, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    The KudoCase itself stores power so you can recharge directly from that battery without any light. You can also charge your iPhone via the USB slot on the case…

  3. Awardik
    October 24th, 2012 @ 4:50 am

    India — the good country. It is a lot of traditions. It is a lot of novelty.

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    February 7th, 2013 @ 1:40 am

    “I believe in the concepts of using our knowledge to use appropriate technology to make the standard of living better for everyone. Open access to scientific knowledge is important to such efforts and to the economic well being of modern society…”

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    May 11th, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

    “The Strawjet is a farm implement that processes straw (wheat, flax, sunflower, tobacco, hemp, etc.) in the field (after the plant has been harvested) into a mat, similar to a large bamboo window blind. This is used to construct composite building panels…”

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    June 12th, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    Mosaic offers a new investment option to easily invest in solar energy projects. Mosaic connects investors seeking steady, reliable returns to high quality solar projects…

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    September 8th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    This is one of so many great efforts to use appropriate technology to improve people’s lives…

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    It is great to see do it yourself solutions that easily tap the energy provided by the sun to heat your house…

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