A consortium of 12 British and Indian universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, has received a 7-million-pound grant from the U.K. government to build five self-sufficient solar-powered buildings in remote Indian villages.
The grant is part of a new solar project ‘SUNRISE’ aimed at developing printed photovoltaic cells and new manufacturing processes which can be used to make solar energy products in India. These will then be integrated into buildings in at least five villages of India, allowing them to harness solar power to provide their own energy and run off grid.
The programme is part of the Swansea University led SPECIFIC Project, which recently opened the U.K.’s first “energy-positive classroom” and revolves around a “buildings as power stations” concept.
“The energy-positive classroom we built shows that this technology works, successfully turning buildings into power stations. This funding will enable us to export this model to support India’s plans to boost solar energy,” said Professor Dave Worsley of Swansea University, head of research at the SPECIFIC project and leader of the SUNRISE team.
“The Swansea team will be working closely with our partner universities in the U.K. and India. Our hope is that if we can show this works on five villages in India, then it could be rolled out to other buildings in India and around the world,” he said.
Swansea University says the project is in line with Indian government’s plans to turn the country into a solar energy leader, leap-frogging fossil fuels and to boost the Indian manufacturing sector.
One of the key aims of the SUNRISE project for India is to provide a real-life example which proves that this technology works and that it is appropriate within communities.
The plan is that it will encourage local industries to manufacture affordable prefabricated buildings, adapted for their environment, that can generate, store and release their own power.PTI