Solar Village Search Engine: Search for a brighter tomorrow

Technological interventions today require a huge amount of funds and investments. This is especially true in the case of interventions in the sustainable development sector. Due to high perceived risk in the market, renewable energy and other innovations in the environmental field do not receive as much interest or amounts in terms of investments from private sectors as do other fields like IT.

This has required environmentalists and entrepreneurs to look at innovative ways to raise funds for the project they are undertaking. One of the most interesting ways of fundraising I have come across is the Solar Village Search Engine (SVSE).

What is Solar Village Search Engine?

Just like any other search engine (for e.g. Google), Solar Village will help its users to search the web. The income generated from sponsored advertisements shall be dedicated to furthering the work of Auroville Consulting in solarising rural India; an initiative called the Solar Village Initiative.

Solar Village search engine will use Bing to deliver relevant search results and sponsored advertisements.

The users can also install Solar Village as their default search engine on their browser, allowing them to search directly from the address bar.

If you are a keen environmentalist and wish to contribute to the sustainable development movement, there is no easier way for you participate. Your choice of search engine will directly help villages in India get electrified through solar energy.

The search engine is a medium by which they wish to raise awareness about energy poverty, as well as raise funds for their ambitious targets. These are some of them…

  • Solarize 100 villages in Tamil Nadu by 2030
  • Secure reliable, green, quality power supply for a 100 villages by 2030
  • Install an aggregated solar energy capacity of about 100 MW by 2030
  • Contribute to the energy security of more than 20,000 people in rural Tamil Nadu by 2030
  • Introduce participatory budgeting and planning at 100 participating villages
  • Facilitated village level sustainable development initiatives at all solar villages
  • Contribute to the democratization of benefits arising from renewable energy generation
  • Contribute to GHG emission reduction of up to 2.87 million tonnes

These targets are directly in lines with some of the initiatives of the government of India. Also, a global perspective will tell you how these targets can significantly contribute to India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement as well as India’s targets towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Image result for solarising indian villages

Auroville Consulting will be responsible for the implementation and management of this initiative, called the Solar Village Initiative as well as the search engine. The consulting agency is a part of the Auroville Foundation, and has expertise in ecological and socially responsible sustainable development. Their operations involve collaborations with academic, public and private sector players around the world and providing thought leadership in aspects sustainability.

What is the need for such initiatives?

Energy poverty is a critical topic in India. The government has recognized this and wishes to electrify all villages by 2019. This target can do with any help it can get, and for that, initiatives need money.

Millions in rural India suffer from power cuts that last several hours every day. Rural communities suffer more than urban ones: They cannot consistently meet basic needs and their industries, which depend on reliable power supply, are unable to function at optimum capacity.

These energy problems have effects on other sectors of the country’s economy and development.

For instance…

Electricity consumption is closely related to economic growth. The Central Electricity Authority found that at a GDP growth of 9% per annum in India, the power sector must also grow at 7.2% per annum. Unreliable power supply diminishes industrial output and therefore affects employment.

Due to this problem, rural populations are forced to migrate to urban areas in search of reliable employment. This is called “distress migration”. Large scale distress migration will result in overcrowding of urban areas and rapid uncontrolled development by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will follow. This is unsustainable for the environment as well as for the economy of the country.

A big share of India’s electricity supply comes from conventional energy sources, contributing to the global GHG emissions. Conventional electricity generation poses a threat to the State’s water security given that it generates a higher water footprint than renewable energy sources.

There is room and need for decentralized renewable energy generation as well as off-grid energy units that facilitate the country’s transition into a decentralized and resilient sustainable energy future.

So there you have it.

There is a massive need for the country to electrify villages fast. Why don’t you try to use an alternative search engine and help the country?

Care to follow SVSE on social media?

Author: Saurab Babu

Usually found sitting with a good book, nibbling on a piece of dark chocolate. Always ready for a good story.

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