By Paul Homewood
Scientific American reports:
Dharnai, a community of about 3,200 people in eastern India’s Bihar state, had been without electricity for three decades. So when activists with Greenpeace set up a solar-powered microgrid in July of 2014, the excitement was palpable. But, residents said, the problems started almost immediately.
When the former chief minister of Bihar state visited to inaugurate the grid, villagers lined up to protest, chanting, “We want real electricity, not fake electricity!”
By “real,” they meant power from the central grid, generated mostly using coal. By “fake,” they meant solar.
Analysts say the story of Dharnai illustrates how difficult it can be to provide reliable, high-quality electricity to the world’s poor without using the central grid. The challenge is coming into focus as Prime Minister Narendra Modi moves forward on an ambitious pledge to generate 175 gigawatts from utility-scale solar and wind energy by…
View original post 1,733 more words