Dharnai, a village in Bihar, one of India’s poorest state and has been without electricity for more than 30 years. Greenpeace India recently solved the problem by helping to power the village with solar energy.
According to the organization small shops in Bihar had been using solar lamps for energy, but they were not reliable and poorly designed. It was also difficult to connect the village to a central grid. This was logistical. Without electricity access, it is difficult for the village’s progress. Schools, hospitals, and shops all require electricity to work well. Safety is another concern when there are no street lights at night. Women and girls are prevented from studying at night because they must finish their house chores before starting school. Current electricity models use Kerosene. This is a dangerous fuel that can be rationed and poses health risks to the villager.
After a few months of testing, the system was finally made available for village use. The system can power 450 homes, 50 business, two schools and a training center. It also powers a health care facility, as well as a number of other facilities. This project’s success is due to its decentralized approach. When attempting to find solutions for other villages, it is important to consider the benefits of a Decentralized Renewable Energy System. DRES uses microgrids to adapt the energy system to meet the needs of different people. While the “renewable” portion has obvious advantages, especially in a country that has such severe pollution problems; the decentralized part is arguably more valuable.
These benefits include:
Because of the smaller size of the project, it is less expensive to start up
The community-owned approach permits local control without relying on the government or large companies
There are no ongoing costs other than the upkeep of electricity. This is in contrast to paying for electricity from a central grid.
Two reasons make this a great precedent for other villages are: Because the project is owned locally, the first reason was that it allowed them to rise to power without having to take on huge debts. It used renewable energy to increase electricity access, rather than using fossil fuels. This model will serve as a great example to other projects. It was also a huge achievement. However, it is crucial to continue expanding these projects to thousands of villages all over the globe that do not have electricity access.