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Solar power picking up in Ongole

According to reports, vexed with power cut every day, more and more people are to shifting to solar power systems, particularly during the summer. The change in people’s mindset can be seen on the roof tops of their houses which have solar power panels at a time when the cost of conventional power is going up periodically.

“Power supply is erratic. We do not know when it comes and when it goes off,” says a housewife, who proudly showed the newly-acquired solar power system that included battery, solar module and inverter.

“To be on the safe side, we have put a solar power system to meet the patients’ hot water needs in the hospital round-the-clock,” Sanghamitra hospital Managing Director D. Tirumala Reddy says.

Explaining the present scheme of the Union Government, New and Renewal Energy Development Corporation Executive Engineer M. Kameswara Rao told The Hindu that “thirty per cent central subsidy is presently available under the scheme. We have tied up with banks who are eager to provide loan up to 50 per cent of the cost of the solar power system for home needs.”

“We have financed 1,000 solar power units for domestic use during last year,” said Andhra Pragadi Grameena Bank Regional Manager V.C.K. Prasad.

“Solar lantern and lamps costing Rs. 950 and Rs. 1,900 are popular, the NEDCAP official says. “We have also installed a 65 kv system in an engineering college in Markapur,” he adds.

“Solar power is cheaper than diesel which is used conventionally for running generator sets when power goes off,” points out Aditya Suraksha entrepreneur Syed Zahed.

One could get a central subsidy of Rs. 13,500 for a solar-powered home lighting system costing Rs. 33,750, which is enough for two lights, two fans and a television set. Bank loan of Rs. 16,500 could be repaid in 36 equated monthly instalments of just Rs. 500. “Moreover it comes with a five year warranty,” he adds.

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