My idea is related to sustainable energy and how to provide sustainable energy to mountain communities of Nepal and North East India in states like Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh.The mountain communities are really vulnerable to climate changes. Due to remote locations of these villages in the Himalayas , electricity grids are inaccessible for majority of the population.Energy is one of the pillars for the sustainable development.The important role energy plays in the lives and livelihood of mountain people and the implications the prevailing trends in energy use have on the environment has led me to my solution.
The solution is to install DC microgrids within communities and an offline smart energy meter to record data .DC microgrids will be financed initially from public -private-civil society partnerships and then subsequently from communities(DC micro grid energy credit) once the communities have experienced the benefits. An offline smart energy meter will be installed at one of the houses within communities to record the data to be used for analysis by a team of data scientists.
Energy security can open up opportunities for development and employment and contribute to the national GDP. Once the DC microgrid is installed , training will be given to local population for maintenance and upkeep. This is skill based training to prepare them for better livelihood. It will open access to internet connectivity and education for the local population.
Initially a few families within same village will be given skills and shown the advantage of this solution . Subsequently , these families will teach other families about advantages of these solution encouraging others to adopt it and prepare them. The first pilot project is of utmost importance to show the communities how renewable energy solution can improve the livelihood of families and create job opportunities.
This pilot project could be an attraction for tourists as these regions attract significant amount of tourists.This would be a step toward green economy .A green economy creates growth while also improving the environment and people's lives.It's a key part of sustainable development.
DC microgrid solution has centralized solar generation and decentralized storage is one of the most simple, cost effective and highly efficient solution to provide access to electricity to remote communities .It uses array of solar pane connected in series to generate power at 230 V DC , which can be transmitted over distance of 1-2 km using 2 core cable and supporting poles. Houses are connected to the distribution line through junction boxes mounted on poles . The micro grid charge controller installed in each house steps down 230 V ,DC to 14V, DC which is used to charge the storage battery and power the DC loads in house . In daytime controller installed in each house draws power from the grid to charge the battery and power the loads. During night the loads get power from the stored energy in the battery. It also has an integrated prepaid energy meter to monitor energy consumption in the houses.
DC micro grid prepayment solution ensures that the micro grid entrepreneur collects the money from the end users for their usage of energy from the grid. Each user purchases advance energy credit from the micro grid entrepreneur by paying a nominal amount. After purchase of energy credit, the micro grid charge controller installed in the consumers house gets connected to the grid. The micro grid charge controller monitors the energy consumption and disconnects from the grid when the energy credit is over.
The second step of my business is to promote green tourism within the region to generate employment opportunities and allow the communities to invest in DC microgrid solutions. They are inter-related as green tourism would provide the revenue for DC microgrid solutions.Green tourism would educate the primary and secondary children about the advantages of renewable energy sources . With access to electricity children would be able to have access to internet ,skill based learning required for todays' job and cultural exchange between students from different parts of the world.Promoting skills is important as predominant professions are farming and local handicrafts. Selling their artifacts to across the world and promoting green tourism would help tourists in contributing to sustainability.
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