The Indian government has pledged to broaden the roll-out of solar and battery storage to households without power in rural and remote towns and villages, as a part of a newly launched $2.5 billion project to electrify all of the country’s households by the end of 2018.
At the launch of the project on Monday, Indian PM Narendra Modi said around one-quarter of all homes in the country were yet to be electrified, meaning about 300 million of India’s 1.3 billion people are still not hooked up to the grid.
As part of the program, the government will identify households eligible for free electricity connections, with no fee charged for the connection of “poor citizens,” the PM said.
But the majority of the program’s budget – more than 80 per cent – would go towards rural households, where solar power packs of 200-300W will be added with battery banks to un-electrified homes, along with LED lights, a DC fan and a DC power plug, and repair and maintenance for five years.
As PV-Tech reports, Modi’s latest announcement appears to be a major extension of the plan announced last December by former energy minister Piyush Goyal, that more than 16,000 Indian households across 800 remote villages would be given a solar panel, with an eight-hour battery storage backup.