Category: Asia

— Prashant Mandal, who lives in Madhotanda in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state. About 20 million households in Uttar Pradesh lack electricity. For those on the grid, power is often only available only a few hours a day. Solar kits like the one Mandal leases from SimpaNetworks provide reliable power for two LED lights and a fan. Before solar kits were available for lease, Mandal said he had to carry a battery a kilometer back and forth to recharge it…

— Shama Bibi, who lives in a village outside Bahawalpur in Pakistan, on what solar-powered light has meant for her. She and women in 150 off-grid villages across Pakistan work with the Buksh Foundation to install solar charging stations and rent solar lights to local residents. Plans are in place to reach 4,000 villages by 2017. Gul Muhammad, a farmer in the village outside Bahawalpur, says solar has allowed him to cut his kerosene use and save 350 rupees ($3)…

Thailand has been shifting away from natural gas as reserves are depleted. By December 2015, Thailand is expected to have more solar power capacity than all of Southeast Asia combined. Most will be from solar farms, but experts say distributed solar over the next five years could supply a quarter of a million households. The cost of rooftop solar has dropped 90% since 2010. VIA REUTERS and SIAM REAL ESTATE (PHOTO: 53338296 via Flickr/cc)

— SunEdison Asia-Pacific president Pashupathy Gopalan, commenting on the company’s recent completion of the 50-megawatt Dammakhedi solar farm in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. SunEdison reports that the project was completed two months ahead of schedule and created more than 1,000 jobs during construction. VIA ENERGY MATTERS (Photo: Christopher Kray via Flickr/cc)

— Kishor Rithe of the Amravati-based Nature Conservation Society explaining how solar-powered irrigation pumps enable farmers of Melghat buffer villages to more reliably water their crops and avoid agricultural losses due to erratic electric supply. “This is a better solution for farmers in forested landscape where three phase supply is available only after 10pm,” Rithe explains. “At night, irrigating their agricultural fields becomes a tough task for farmers. The solar pump will work only during daylight and farmers will be…

— India Energy Minister Piyush Goyal. Nearly 300 companies have pledged $200 billion for 266 gigawatts worth of solar and wind farms in India in the next five years. Utility scale solar projects can be built in just a couple months. A 6 gigawatt solar project being developed by Reliance Energy in the state of Rjasthan would all of that state’s conventional power-generation capacity. Adani Enterprises has signed a deal to build an even bigger 10 gigawatt solar project there…