Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

How Solar Energy is Moving India Beyond Coal

Energy
How Solar Energy is Moving India Beyond Coal

India Beyond Coal

by Chaitanya Kumar

Building a movement around climate change requires fighting the strong forces of fossil fuel power. People’s movements world over are taking to creative forms of protest in challenging the status quo.

India has a history of peoples movements that have taken on big infrastructure projects impacting their way of life, and coal mines and power plants are a major driver behind a lot of these struggles in the country. The reasons are obvious given the hugely destructive impacts of coal on peoples health, livelihoods and environment. From hunger strikes to dharnasto foot marches, impacted communities have worked with little resources to varying effects.

But unlike many protests against coal in India, a very unique approach has been adopted by organizers in the remote village of Sompeta in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The locals have been fighting a proposed thermal power plant (2,600 MW) over the last three years. An indefinite relay hunger strike has been on for the last 1,060 days where individuals from the village take turns to go on a full day fast! In 2010, a police firing on the protesting crowds led to the death of three innocent villagers which sparked a major debate in the state assembly. The plant has since been put on hold but the Government order (GO 1107) is yet to be revoked to ensure the village lands will not be grabbed.

Over the last six months, the villagers have turned to solar energy to answer their energy needs. Defeating the logic that coal is a necessity to power their homes, solar energy has come as a boon to the villagers. One hundred and sixty families have adopted solar and after witnessing a dramatic drop in their electricity bills, nearly 2,000 families are signed up to go solar in the coming months. With banks offering loans and small subsidies from the state government, locals are adopting solar energy at a remarkable pace.

Speaking to one of the local organizers Dhilli Rao had this to say, "We have plans for a 1 MW solar plant to power the entire village. We are talking to different solar companies to install it. Opposing a power plant does not mean we are against development, our interest in solar energy shows we can develop without a risk to environment.”

Sompeta is an example that villages across the country can emulate. With the right policies and ambition in place, we can ensure that the new energy needs of a rapidly growing India can be met by renewable sources of energy.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

 

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington comforts Marsha Maus, 75, whose home was destroyed during California's deadly 2018 wildfires, on March 11, 2019 in Agoura Hills, California. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Governor Jay Inslee

Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.

Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch