Cheap Electricity for Poor Squeezing Out Solar in Indiaby The Daily Eye Team November 24 2014, 2:20 pm Estimated Reading Time: 0 mins, 34 secs
The villagers of Dharnai in northern India had been living without electricity for more than 30 years when Greenpeace installed a microgrid to supply reliable, low-cost solar power. Then, within weeks of the lights flickering on in Dharnai?s mud huts, the government utility hooked up the grid -- flooding the community with cheap power that undercut the fledgling solar network. While Greenpeace had come to Dharnai at Bihar?s invitation, the unannounced arrival of the state?s utility threatened to put it out of business. ?We wanted to set this up as a business model,? said Abhishek Pratap, a Greenpeace campaigner overseeing the project. ?Now we?re in course correction.?