Save the Forest - Using Alternative Energy

Posted by | Jun 04, 2021 |

Inner Wheel District 301 Project: Save the Forests - Use of Alternative Energy Resources

The pilot project of Six Solar Water Heaters with a capacity of 500 litres each benefitting more than 100 people was installed at Village Sainj in Uttarkashi, Uttrakhand, where the electricity supply is very low and erratic. As it is very cold there and hot water is needed throughout the day, women walk to the forest to collect firewood to light fires and heat up the water. The solar water heaters were set up with the idea of preventing the cutting down of trees, saving environment and also empowering the women. Use of alternative means of energy would also prevent the setting up of dams on the river for energy generation, thereby preserving the sanctity of the Ganga too.

Impact Report of the solar water heater pilot project in Sainj, Uttarakhand on ways it has benefitted the local ecology and the families:

A. Environmental benefits:

1. Reduced usage of wood for heating water where there is a perennial requirement of hot water.

2. Solar initiative has reduced need for setting up hydro power projects to generate electricity.

B. Social benefits:

3. Has significantly helped in empowering the women as the agreement has been done in the name of the woman of the house.

4. Reduced the physical strain on the women as they do not have to go to the forest to fetch firewood. It also saves a lot of time which is being used productively for other works.

5. Improved the quality of living of women as they now have access to ample hot water for cooking, taking care of livestock, bathing, washing and cleaning of the house.

There is ample hot water to meet all the needs of the large families and village community.

C. Financial benefits:

6. Decreased electricity bills: As per the state policy, for every l tr of hot water through solar water heaters, 1 rupee is rebated from the electricity bill of the respective families. Thus, each of these families shall receive a rebate of 500 rupees from their monthly electricity bill – which is significant, considering the otherwise reduced usage of electricity.

Families who had a bill of up to 500 rupees, are expecting full rebate.

Dr. Sandhya Bhat - National Editor