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MNRE official cautions against fake solar power items

According to reports, people should be careful while buying solar power products as fake items have flooded the market. Buyers should ensure that the solar modules (or panels), home lights, lanterns, solar fans and the batteries they are paying for are worth the money as many people are being duped with low quality products.

This was stated by Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary of the Union ministry of new and renewable energy, at the inauguration of a workshop on ‘Renewable energy and conservation of energy’ here on Thursday.

According to him, if high quality solar power goods are used, every house in every village would have at least two lights in the next five to seven years. “While buying a solar module, customers should check its efficiency rate. Products with 19% efficiency are available in the market. However, items with 15-17% efficiency are common and available at reasonable rate,” said Kapoor.

Efficiency is the amount of sunrays that is converted into power. Customers should also check the degradation level that should not be less than 10 years. Rejected products of other countries are imported and sold at cheaper prices in Indian markets. “But these are of poor quality and will be damaged soon,” Kapoor said and cautioned people to properly check the name of the company, specifications etc before buying a product.

According to Kapoor, power should be generated at small levels; at those places where grid supply power does not reach. In Bihar, 100 telecom towers are powered by solar energy. Also, setting up power plants at schools is also proposed, but the project has been delayed.

The state government is planning to harness alternative energy sources to meet the acute shortage of power. “Installation of solar hand pumps in many districts was approved by the state cabinet recently,” said Bhim Singh, Bihar panchayati raj minister.

State panchayati raj department’s principal secretary Amitabh Verma, said use of solar energy in the state was limited to lights. “We should tap its full potential,” he said.

Equipment such as tube lights, fans and lanterns powered by solar energy were also demonstrated at the workshop. It was attended by representatives of various panchayats and local bodies.

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