Home to one of the world’s oldest cultures, Tamil Nadu is the second largest state economy in the country and one of India’s most literate regions. However, a shortage of electricity is a huge problem in this state. Realizing the need for renewable energy, the Indian government set up the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) as early as 1985.
Known for its remarkable programs for people living below the poverty line, the Tamil Nadu government has created the unique Solar Powered Green House Scheme. Each family gets a fully subsidized 300 square foot pucca (concrete as opposed to mud) dwelling. Every house has a living room, bedroom, kitchen, toilet and verandah lighted by solar powered compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). So far, Tata Power Solar (TPS) has lighted up over 2,200 villages with over 25,000 solar home lighting systems and benefitted approximately 38,000 families through this program.
TPS has invested in training and educating the village on usage and maintenance of the solar system, ensuring a source of livelihood simultaneously. There is one TPS technician allocated for every 300 houses and an operational call centre that addresses any issues pertaining to the solar lighting system.
Along the coast of the district of Tirunelveli, TEDA ’s Green Houses dot the little hamlets of fisherfolk and farmers. Today there are more than 2,400 TPS solar installations in the region, touching some 3 mn lives.
People and progress