Tuesday, July 8, 2008

California's Million Solar Roof Initiative and Lessons for South Asia

The greed displayed by the Saudi Arabian sheikhs is promoting new interest in renewable energy and one of the most significant steps taken in recent times has been the California Million Solar Roofs Initiative which you can read about at: http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/energy/million-solar-roofs Basically, this is a plan to cover the roofs of all government buildings in California and also the roofs of private buildings whose owners are interested in this program with solar photovoltaic systems and to feed the electricity into the state's power grid. I keep wondering when the Indian government would come up with something like this. India has sunlight available across the country and such a system would help immensely in alleviating the severe power shortages that we have in the country. I am sure that the situation in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc is no different. There is a tremendous amount of money to be saved especially with oil prices rising by the day and pushing coal prices up as well as they rise.

And this movement is catching up elsewhere in the world as well. General Motors has installed the world's largest solar roof in its plant in Zaragoza in Spain and Volkswagen are planning something similar in their plants in Europe as well. The Reuters news release about this is at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/motoringSummary/idUKCAS84477520080708 Indian companies have huge tax incentives already to use renewable energy - they can depreciate these systems at 100% in the first year of operation under current laws. And some states have very progressive approaches to this - Haryana, for example, buys electricity generated from renewable sources at Rs 15.96 per kWh. Hopefully, some entrepreneurs would go ahead and do something about the opportunities available in South Asia and make some money out of this business. They deserve to!

In other matters, this is the second post that I have made this week and I am happy to be less tardy than I have been before. Hopefully, I can keep the momentum up and get more information out. Do mail back if you ladies and gentlemen have any information for me. As always, bouquets and brickbats are equally welcome.


1 comment:

Singh said...

hmm,a very interesting concept indeed. i am sure that almost 99% indians are unaware of the subsidy given by the state for renewable energy sources.
but if done in india, it will be a big hit!!