The large population in South Asian countries is putting a lot of pressure on the energy infrastructure in those countries and it is time to think about viability of alternative source of energy such as solar energy. Positive point for many of the countries here such as India is that there is no lack of sunshine throughout the year, and it can be utilized to provide electricity to millions of poor people in these countries.
The present situation
If we look at the Indian economy, almost one-third of its citizens depend on dung, kerosene, and wood for meet their energy requirements. The electricity grids are not in top of their condition, plus the energy deficit does not present a very encouraging view of the situation.
Relying on solar energy still has some bottlenecks to face such as creation of incentive for businesses to invest in this energy where upfront costs are higher with initial returns on the lower side. One option is to initiate small projects that can bring in electricity to the homes of people in remote locations.
Example of EcoEnergyFinance
This company has been taking steps to innovate use of solar energy in villages of India and has received a grant to start a program known as pay-as-you-go for solar lanterns for which people can pay through their mobile connection instead of paying any type of monthly installments. They have other plans such as setting up energy hubs powered by solar energy in many villages which residents can use to charge their mobile phones as well as other devices.
In recent years, there has been significant growth in the use of solar energy in many of the South Asian countries with India being at the forefront with solar electricity generation moving to 2.6 gigawatts in the last 4 years. It is still only a fraction of the total electricity generation in the country, which is at 300 gigawatts but even then it is a promising start. With government support, the country has the capability to build solar infrastructure that meets almost 15% of the requirement in the next twenty years.
There are still hurdles in the way such as lack of finance and investors but solar energy has the potential to become a major source of energy in South Asia and be part of the prosperity for poor people that their governments. Many organizations are taking bold steps in this direction which will surely yield results.