Applied Materials Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Applied Materials Inc., and SELCO Solar Pvt. Ltd, a social enterprise, today announced a collaboration to electrify 1,000 village households and 10 schools in Karnataka, via solar lighting systems. Most of these, households were identified as they do not have reliable access to the electricity, and they cannot afford Solar Home Lighting Systems, due to their economic status . With the support from Applied Materials Foundation, SELCO is now able to make the cost of the lighting systems affordable to the very poor households.
Harish Hande, Managing Director, SELCO SOLAR appreciates the uniqueness of the partnership with Applied Materials. ?It is these type of partnerships between visionary companies like Applied Materials, that grassroots organizations like SELCO can provide clear and safe lighting to poor households and schools?
?Applied Materials vision is to apply nanomanufacturing technology to improve the way people live. We take great pride in applying this vision, by utilizing solar technology to positively impact the communities where we operate,? Said Aninda Moitra, Country President, Applied Materials India. ?Approximately 400 million people are without access to reliable electricity and an estimated 100,000 villages are without access to the national grid. In these cases, the use of coal, kerosene, and other "dirty" fuel sources for power, cooking, and lighting provide energy with intermittent quality and reliability, as well as cause serious health and environmental concerns. We commend SELCO in their efforts to impact lives through the use of clean energy. We?re proud to be associated with this program that is addressing energy needs in villages where sustainable, reliable energy is not yet available.? He added.
Initiated in May 2011, this project has already been implemented in 202 households and 4 schools. SELCO has followed its bottom up approach of identifying the exact need of energy, customizing the product and installing them at the end user?s door steps with regular warranty and after sales service. On completion the project will positively impact over 10,000 individuals, and generate 279 kilowatt hours of clean, safe energy.
The Applied Materials Foundation and SELCO were invited to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to announce their commitment to electrifying villages and schools and training social entrepreneurs in rural India. The CGI was established in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton and is an annual gathering of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world?s most pressing challenges.
Lighting Programs at 10 Rural Schools
The collaboration also supports renewable energy programs at 10 or more schools located in unelectrified or under-electrified areas. The programs range from support for hostel lighting in residential schools, power for computers or display devices in off-grid schools as well as SELCO?s unique Light for Education (LFE) Program. The latter is a program that not only addresses the lighting needs of students and their families, but also acts as an incentive for students to attend school and pursue their education.
How LFE Works: A solar panel that powers a charging station is installed at these schools; batteries and lights are installed in the homes of the students. These batteries are as small as a match box and students can carry them to school every day to have them charged. The charged batteries then power the installed lights for the entire evening allowing students to study and their families work with sufficient illumination.
Photo:Aninda Moitra, Country President, Applied Materials India, and Harish Hande, Managing Director, SELCO SOLAR present Mr. Hallesh, teacher from a rural school close to Davangere with Solar powered study lamps.