The State should initiate steps to implement projects to utilise solar energy in the villages where electricity is yet to reach, V.K. Damodaran, former Director of the State Energy Management Centre and a consultant on renewable energy in African countries, has said.

He was delivering a lecture on ‘Towards a solar democracy’ on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad here on Saturday.

“In 2005, the Government of India had promised to bring electricity to all the villages in the country by 2012. But 40 crore people are still living without electricity here,” said Mr. Damodaran.

He said solar energy should be seen at least as a temporary alternative for villages unconnected to the national electricity grid. The major problems associated with solar power generation were the cost and the problem of storage.

“Touching upon the problem of funding, he said the local administrative bodies could avail themselves of soft loans from banks and provide funding to those who were ready to implement renewable energy in every locality. Another recent idea was to get funds through novel ideas like crowd funding, he said.

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