According to reports, theft of expensive solar panels has hit the renewable energy sector in Punjab. While the projects set up at institutions that have security arrangements are a success, the ones put up at community sites and in villages some times do not even see the light of day.
Asked about the cost factor, Balour Singh, Director of Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), said while one watt costs Rs 200, the price of one light was between Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000. “It is difficult to save such an expensive equipment when set up on roads and community areas,” he added.
PEDA has tried several ways to tackle the problem. Earlier, the panel and the battery were put in a wire enclosure, but that too didn’t work as thieves would decamp with the entire contraption. Then, it was decided to keep the battery in a nearby building, so that at least some part could be saved. However, theft of solar panels continued.