The Story of a Village that Has Unshackled Itself from Darkness

By IAfrica
In World News
Jul 23rd, 2014
0 Comments
34 Views
.
By Neha Khator and Ruhie Kumar*, GreenpeaceJuly, 2014 – In this world where we seem surrounded by news of gloom and doom, we don’t often hear stories of positive change.
.
Woman in Dharnai Village in India. 06/24/2014 © Vivek M / Greenpeace
.
But here is one: a story of a village that has unshackled itself from darkness, after 30 years of having its energy needs neglected by governments.
.
Today, Dharnai is blooming with hope and ambition.
.
Dharnai village in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, is now lit-up by a Greenpeace India solar-powered micro-grid.
.
Enter the village and you’ll see electric poles all around. The solar micro-grid supplies the electricity for homes, street lighting for roads and lanes, and water pumps.

.
Woman in Dharnai Village in India. 04/06/2014 © Ravi Sahani / Greenpeace
 .
Dharnai is the first village in India where all aspects of life are powered by solar.
.
The 100 kilowatt (kW) system powers the 450 homes of the 2,400 residents, 50 commercial operations, two schools, a training centre and a health care facility.
.
A battery backup ensures power around the clock.
.
The secure power supply of the new solar micro-grid has brought immense benefits to the community.
.
Household lighting, agriculture, business activity and social infrastructures like schools, and health centers all have guaranteed electricity.
.
Reliable electricity in the evening has improved educational opportunities for village children, and brought the safety of street lighting.
.
A dependable power supply has boosted the local economy, and brought a welcome improvement to the social life of the villagers.
.
Solar Power Micro Grid to Electrify Dharnai Village. 06/21/2014 © Vivek M / Greenpeace
The better quality of life of Dharnai residents has become the talk of neighbouring villages, all eager to understand and replicate the Dharnai model.
.
The story of the Greenpeace micro-grid project inspiring.
.
It is unbelievable to see an entire village lit-up by solar energy. It illustrates how, in a country like India, universal energy access can be achieved without compromising the environment with coal pollution.
.
Dharnai Solar Village ahead
.
It’s motivating because the affordable micro-grid became a reason for an entire community to join hands and work together to solve its energy problem, and to make this project a success.
.
What a privilege it is to see sign boards on the highway saying: Dharnai Solar Village – 1 km ahead.
.
We have done it with the support of the villagers of Dharnai, and with partners BASIX and CEED.
.
After two months of successful testing, we launched the micro-grid on Sunday 20 July with the eldest person of Dharnai (80 years old) formally switching it on in front of a supportive crowd of thousands.
.
With an electricity system in place after 30 years of waiting, Dharnai now has all the elements to build a strong local economy. Their progress is no longer thwarted by a lack of electricity.
.
Solar Micro-Grid Village Launch Ceremony. 07/20/2014 © Prashant Ravi / Greenpeace
 .
Dharnai shows a way forward for thousands of other villages everywhere which have been left behind.
.
These villages can develop their own clean power and contribute to saving their environment by showing we don’t need to use nuclear, coal or other fossil fuels for energy.
.
Dharnai is just the beginning. India has 80,000 more villages that need solar micro-grids. Greenpeace India will work to build greater collaboration to ensure all get access to clean, reliable electricity.
.
There is a story here that goes well beyond India. Hundreds of millions live without electricity.
.
For them, the Dharnai solar-powered micro-grid could be a game-changer, a model for bringing clean, reliable energy to those energy-starved millions.
.
Communities without electricity, and their governments, can take a leap forward and develop the innovative solar systems.
.
And comunities can avoid the energy systems of the past that plague the world and build a clean energy system they can own and control.
.
.
To learn more, please visit: dharnailive.org Neha Khator is a media consultant and Ruhie Kumar is a digital media consultant for Renewable Energy with Greenpeace India. 
.

*Source: Report published by Greenpeace on 20 July 2014. Go to Original.

Filed under: Asia, Mother Earth, The Peoples


Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Comments are closed.