With solar water heaters becoming mandatory for new apartment complexes in Bangalore and parts of Karnataka State in India and similar laws on the horizon in several states (though nothing is really likely to happen until the General Elections are over in May) there is certain to be an explosion in the demand for some attempts at solving India's chronic power shortage problem. I have been a big supporter of the Karnataka law and have also been vocal about the immense potential that this opens up for entrepreneurs who wish to come up with useful solutions that address this problem and the new regulations.
Today's New York Times has this entry on a very interesting Municipal Financing solution being offered by cities in California, the USA's most indebted state and one which has major infrastructure and other problems - just like Karnataka State where Bangalore is the capital has in India: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/science/earth/15solar.html The concept of offering municipal financing by allowing deductions in property taxes over a period of time to offset the cost of installing renewable energy systems is an excellent one. India already has laws which allow businesses to write off the cost of renewable systems to the extent of 100% depreciation in just one year and both the Central Government and several state governments waive sales taxes on these products. If an incentive in reduced property taxes were offered, this would certainly prompt existing multi-storey apartment building societies to consider installing solar heaters and reduce the amount of power consumed in the country. Entrepreneurs (and there are very few in the renewable energy field in India) would do well to carefully exploit all of these possibilities and convey them to potential clients in a marketing push. And banks could lend money to finance the purchase of these products. There is a huge market waiting to be addressed and there are massive gains for not just entrepreneurs and consumers but also to the rest of the country on reduced energy costs and on the concordant reduction in pollution that is inevitable to follow this implementation.
Hopefully, someone would push for this to be addressed, come June.