Sodium-vapour lamps are likely to be replaced

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is reported to be considering a ban on high-mast sodium-vapour lamps and exploring the LED (light-emitting diode) option for street lighting as part of its power-saving initiatives. A serious thought is being given to shift the board’s focus to non-conventional and renewable energy sources as well.

Board sources told The Hindu here on Friday that the recent curbs to limit power consumption, including a tariff hike — mainly for domestic consumers, have failed to yield the desired results. There is no significant fall in power consumption and the situation is set to worsen in the next few days.

Unrestricted installation of sodium-vapour lamps in both urban and rural local self-government institutions has proved to be a major source of power drain. Just as in the case of the Capital Road Improvement Project here, lights are being installed in cities across the State. Even grama panchayats are no exception.

The power consumption rate of the light is considered too high and now it has become unaffordable for both the civic bodies and the board. The excessive power consumption and power crisis have prompted the board to think of banning sodium-vapour lamps and substitute street lights with energy-efficient LED lights.

High-level meeting

A high-level meeting of board officials and technocrats held here on Friday is understood to have evaluated the power situation and explored various options, including the need to give due attention to non-conventional and renewable energy sources. The crux of the discussion is reported to be the need for the board to immediately shift its accent from hydroelectric projects to other sources that remain largely untapped at present. The Soura Graha scheme envisaged in the current year’s budget to install solar panels atop 10,000 houses and route the generated energy to the board’s pool has not yet taken off as expected. Launching the project in full swing will be one of the main priorities of the board.

The meeting is reported to have discussed the need to install solar panels extensively and transmit the power through its lines to the main power grid. The possibility of setting up floating solar panels in hydroelectric power project areas is also considered. The board has sought expert opinion to evolve means to address the crisis within the next few days, sources said.