Light Up A Billion Lives & Visit with Dr. Pachauri

Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
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Trip End Sep 27, 2008


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Flag of India  ,
Sunday, September 7, 2008

I had the great privilege of meeting with Dr. Rajendra Pachauri and his team of The Energy and Resource Institute - TERI managers who are heading up an extremely important imitative for the world called "Lighting a Billion Lives Program" (LABL)  There are 1.6 billion people in the world that do not have access to electricity and this program has made the commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative that they and their partners will bring electrical energy (primarily solar) to 1 billion of those people.  Twenty-five percent, or 400 million of those 1.6 million live in India.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, another organization that Dr. Pachauri  leads, co- won the Nobel Peace Prize last year with Al Gore for their work on Climate Change.  Dr. Pachauri Nobel Peace Prize Speech

I met with the leadership of the LABL Program - Debajit Palit, Akanksha Chaurey and Namrata Kala who explained their program and will be e-mailing me their PowerPoint Presentation (they wanted to update it before giving it to me.)

They have set up a test laboratory to compare solar lighting systems - including Compact Fluorescent and LED models - as well as a hybrid light.  They are also creating their own design.  All their results are going to be published.  They do not intend to be manufacturers of these systems but rather will work with partners who will supply the lights.

They are providing leadership that they hope that will result in a new generation of lights that bring about the best of compact fluorescent lights (defuse light that lights up a room) and the best of LED (small energy consumption, almost infinite bulb life) and at an optimal cost.

Their current test program consists of five solar panels which go into a central location managed by a trained entrepreneur that recharges 50 CFL solar lanterns. Their website provides their status.  They are not only collecting laboratory data on lights - but also carefully monitoring the usage and acceptance in the villages.  They are targeting to be in 20 villages with test programs in the next few months.  They plan to work with NGO partners in the distribution.  A MicroFranchising program which includes Microcredit loans are being carefully considered - which is an area that I have great interest, connections and have offered my help in bringing this together.  Solar Lanterns will also be able to charge a cell phone or provide electricity for a small television.  The suppliers will become TERI's "Product Partners".  They are working with North Carolina University on this program.  Currently they are renting out lanterns for (70 - 80 Rupees - $2 per month).  For the CFL lanterns - they believe the life of the lantern batteries and CFL bulbs are 1.5 - 2 years.  The purchase price of the lanterns is currently 1,200 to 1,800 Rupees ($30 - $45).

The meeting was late in the afternoon on Saturday and we had only 45 minutes or so to go through the program.  I will know a lot more when I receive a copy of their PowerPoint Presentation and have more time in their website.

A second blog designed to help those who are interested network among themselves follows.
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Comments

niranjan
niranjan on

Great!
Dear Marty,

I am happy to know that you are meeting great personalities and organizations during your trip. I hope this makes you to visit India again and again.

Enjoy rest of your trip.

Regards,

Niranjan

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