Electricity deprived rural India is set to get world’s most efficient lighting system -- light emitting diode (LED).
The government will provide LED lights in place of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in the subsidized solar powered home lighting systems for rural homes.
Around 400 million homes in India do not have an electricity connection and the government aims to provide them one by 2017.
In a bid to meet the target, the government will re-launch its most ambitious national programme in January 2013 to provide electricity through decentralized renewable energy sources.
For this, the government has opted for LED home lighting system which is about 80 % more energy efficient than the popular compact fluorescent lamps (CFL).
The home lighting system can run two lights and fans and a television and a mobile charger. Now, the solar lanterns to be provided by the government will have LED instead of CFL.
The CFLs is being provided for solar power home lighting systems under the ministry of new and renewable energy’s off-grid solar energy scheme.
But, the ministry has found that the battery discharge is faster and cost of the system is higher because of CFLs.
“We believe that having LED based solar home lighting system will make it more reliable and reduce the high costs of solar panels,” said Gireesh Pradhan, secretary ministry of new and renewable energy.
The ministry has provided solar based home lighting systems to high altitudes in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir to remote islands in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to about 100 km away from the national capital in Moradabad.
The scheme has two options scheme -- individual home lighting system or for entire village to be run by a committee of villagers.
Ladakh has individual home lighting system whereas Moradabad has one for entire village. “It all depends on the requirement of the beneficiaries,” Pradhan said.
The decision to have LED lights in place of CFL was taken following a huge fall in its prices from around Rs. 1,500 to less than Rs. 500 for a LED light of 10 vatt this year.
The government believes that it move will encourage domestic manufacturers and will led to further reduction in prices.
The government has also decided to buy five lakh LED solar lanterns to be provided at highly subsidized rates to people in rural India.
“The lanterns will come with five year maintenance guarantee,” Pradhan said.