According to reports, with a view to fostering use of small, solar energy-based products, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL), intends to set up ‘akshay urja shops’ in several tier-1 and tier-2 cities in Karnataka.
These shops would sell off-the-shelf solar products such as lanterns, table lamps and cookers at meagre amounts such as Rs 400.
The idea is that once the curiosity is aroused, it is easy to popularise use of solar products. “District officers there concentrate at popularising off grid solar projects at the grass-root level in the community,” Mr N.S. Prasanna Kumar, Managing Director, KREDL, told Business Line.
They would also work towards setting up rooftop solar systems in gram panchayats and other such buildings, he added.
Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the country aims at reaching 1,000 MW by 2017 and 2,000 MW by 2022 from off grid applications, and KREDL is working with the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote use of solar energy for off grid purposes through its solar city programme.
The estimated total solar off grid potential in Karnataka alone is about 8,460 MW, with the potential for solar water-heating alone 3,400 lakh kilo litres a day, according to the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE).
With increased focus on promoting use of green energy in other parts of Karnataka, KREDL, Karantaka’s nodal agency to facilitate the development of non-conventional energy, is planning expansions in Mysore and Tumkur, Mr Kumar said.
KREDL currently has branches in Gulbarga and Hubli, apart from the head-office in Bangalore and will be adding that the units will be established in the next financial year, according to Mr Kumar.
“All these KREDL offices across the State will have the akshay urja shops,” Mr Kumar added.